Friday, July 31, 2015

Nanaimo Sheep Farmers Featured

An article in The Western Producer features Nanaimo sheep farmers Don and Deborah Wytinck who have been raising sheep on their Nanaimo acreage for 25 years. The urban farmers farm is now completely surrounded by housing development which has brought a few challenges educating urban dwellers how to conduct themselves around the farm's livestock.

Nanaimo residents may be familiar with their farm which is on the site of an old orchard they purchased years ago. Their choice to raise sheep as opposed other livestock was due to the fact the sheep wouldn't damage the old trees in the orchard.

It is an interesting read about a couple who have seen the need for local food security long before it was the topic of the day. I am not sure the city would allow the land to remain as an operating farm should the couple one day decide to retire.


Raw Shellfish Health Warning BCCDC

Photo credit Wikimedia commons

Ongoing warm weather increases risk of illness associated with raw shellfish consumption

July 31, 2015
Vancouver – An unprecedented number of shellfish-related illnesses have occurred this summer, with 35 cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections reported to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) in June and July.

The majority of illnesses have been linked to the consumption of raw oysters sourced in BC and served in restaurants. There has also been some illness associated with raw oysters bought at retail or self-harvested.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterium that occurs naturally in shellfish like oysters, clams, mussels, scallops and cockles, and is found in higher concentrations during the summer months when water temperatures rise. The unseasonably high temperatures this summer may be contributing to the early and large increase in illnesses being reported.

When contaminated shellfish are eaten raw or undercooked, a foodborne illness may occur. The most common symptom of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection is diarrhea. Nausea, vomiting, fever, headache and bloody stools may occur as well. Symptoms can last for around three days to a week and usually do not require any treatment.

“People should always be aware of the health risks associated with eating raw or undercooked oysters,” says Marsha Taylor, Epidemiologist with the BCCDC. “The risk is especially high this summer, as we can see from the number of Vibrio infections reported during the last two months.”

To reduce risk of illness, consumers are advised to eat only cooked shellfish, as cooking will destroy the bacteria and decrease the risk of gastrointestinal illness.

Anyone becoming ill after eating shellfish should report their illness to their local public health office or primary care provider and see a physician if symptoms persist or become severe. They can also call the 24-hour HealthLink BC line at 8-1-1 for more information.


Morningside Park Effluent Leak Fixed

Pipe repaired at Morningside Park

For the second time in about six months the outfall pipe which carries treated effluent from the Hammond Bay treatment plant required digging up and repairing. This pipe carries treated effluent and not raw sewage about 2km out towards Five Finger Islands where it is discharged.

The leak this time came from a finger-sized hole in the side of the pipe that actually discharged a relatively small amount of effluent. When the tide comes in the pressure inside the pipe increases and that is when the leak was evident. While signs were posted advising of the problem Island Health did not issue a beach closure notice.

Crews were able to fix the leak on Thursday afternoon before the incoming tide would have caused another days delay as the leak was in a tidal area of the beach. The leak was spotted by the property owner whose fence had to be removed last December when crews had to repair a much larger leak in the same pipe.

This pipe is all due to be replaced in 2016 which is considerably sooner than would have been expected. I wonder if there is any way of determining if there are any issues with the quality of the pipe we thought we were buying 45 years ago?

Crews will be busy now trying to restore the park as it is a popular spot with some of the locals who enjoy a refreshing dip the bay.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Frankie's Modern Diner Nanaimo - Closed July 29

Another Nanaimo Restaurant Closes

Frankies Modern Diner in Nored Plaza closed their business on July 29 with the following announcement on their Facebook page:

"It is with great sadness that I announce Frankie's Modern Diner will be closing. Our last day of operation will be Wednesday July 29, 2015.
I know this must come as a shock to many. It was a very hard decision for me to make but I miss my home, family and friends in Victoria."

A few days ago Fibber Magees on Selby Street announced they will be closing on August 16 after operating an Irish style pub and restaurant in the restored train station.

It would be hoped these types of businesses would be getting an extra boost in business during the summer 'tourist' season. The restaurant business has always had a reputation for being brutal and several factors seem to be bringing more pressure to bear on the industry including increased food costs and a shortage of qualified cooks.

Owner's can only take up the slack for so long and sooner or later the strain simply becomes too much.


Nanaimo Water Saving Initiatives

City of Nanaimo Water Saving Initiatives
City leading water conservation by example

With increasing discussion around Nanaimo of the drought and its impact on water supply, the City is communicating what it is doing to reduce water use at its facilities. The main focus has been to shut down irrigation to lawns at facilities and medians. Sports fields, which are an important community asset are being watered at reduced levels, to ensure that they remain viable. However, watering sports fields has been reduced by 50% or more, and the lesser used fields are being shut off. Young saplings are being protected as well.

While Nanaimo remains on Twice per Week watering (Level Two), we are also encouraging residents and businesses to allow their lawns to go dormant over the summer. The most effective means of reaching the highest level of water conservation is through education, rather than enforcement. Building awareness around the priorities of water use will help raise the public's awareness of the value of our most precious resource.

The City of Nanaimo’s water supply at Jump Lake is currently 85 per cent of full storage. Daily consumption is averaging around 60 million litres, about average for this time of year.

"A key goal with water conservation education is to improve the level of awareness and to have Nanaimo residents and businesses be even more mindful the value of our drinking water. With this deeper appreciation comes a greater desire to conserve and protect our most precious resource.

Even though sprinkling is permitted twice per week, it is not mandatory. Voluntarily allowing your lawn to go golden is a simple way of demonstrating water wise behaviour.
"   -  Bill Sims Manager, Water Resources Engineering & Public Works


Water Leak Dufferin and Seafield Cres.

Scheduled for repair next week

On Sunday evening I noticed water on the road at this corner and commented to my wife who said she thought it was a lawn sprinkler overshooting the grass on the corner. Then on Tuesday evening we passed the same corner in the late evening and noticed a considerable amount of water on the road again.

I noticed the water again, but this around noon and clearly a lawn sprinkler was not the source of the water. It is obvious the source is coming from a water main beneath Dufferin which looks like it has been recently dug up as part of the Seafield Cresent work.

Being an engaged citizen I called the public works department at the city who are aware of the problem and told me they were planning on repairing it next week. I presume they have determined it is a minor leak and is not capable of causing damage to the roadway beneath the surface. In the meantime I intend to drive around the area which is the apparent source of the leak just in case. :^)


Nanaimo Area Weekend Farmers' Markets 2015

 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 .

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


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Is CHEK News Using Nanaimo Info Blog Pics?

This is the picture accompanying a CHEK News story reporting on the sewage leak at Morningside Park.

This is the picture that I took and published on my website It could just be me, but I find the similarities of the two pictures uncanny with of course the exception of the crop which seems to have conveniently removed my copyright 'bug'.

I apologize if I am making a baseless accusation and if in fact CHEK News did take a picture from the same angle as I did earlier this year. However, if my suspicions are correct and their news room deliberately used my copyright pic after cropping off the 'bug' then I don't mind saying it really pisses me off.


Morningside Park Closed Again - Sewage Leak

Nanaimo info blog file photo


Morningside Park in the City of Nanaimo is closed to the public until further notice, following a leak in the treated sewage effluent outfall line from Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre. The leak was identified on July 28, and has resulted in treated effluent surfacing near the beach in the park. Members of the public accessing the shoreline in the area are also to stay out of the water.

The RDN is working as quickly as possible to repair the pipe, which runs through the park, off Morningside Drive, near Hammond Bay Road.

A notice advising of the leak was sent to nearby residents by the RDN on July 28. Staff are in ongoing contact with residents, First Nations, regulatory agencies, the City of Nanaimo, and School District 68 to provide updates on work underway. The RDN thanks all those affected for their patience.


Stalking shadows & stealing light

A couple of more images from local photo artist Sher Falls

 blackberry wine ...

it's a beautiful day ...
...don't let it get away!

You can see more of her work on her website or you can catch her at the Tuesday night street market in Parksville.


Colliery Dams Saga Continues

Does the latest motion have a snowballs chance?
History would say it does not.

The following resolution of Council passed by all of  Council with the exception of Councillor Brennan and Councillor Fuller (who was in hospital) accomplished nothing.

Had the Mayor and Council been united by the intent of this motion we may not be in the current situation we are today with the Water Comptroller. However, it seems that there are far too many voices singing from different song sheets when it comes to this whole dam affair. There is some wisdom in the old saying about too many cooks spoiling the broth. This applies here with so many different cooks thinking they know what they are talking about vis a vis the Colliery Dams.

There is yet to come a clear, concise, credible message from the dam proponents to support their claims the current process has been flawed.

The resolution of City Council passed on Feb. 2/15. But not acted upon or supported by Mayor McKay or senior city staff.

03615 Whereas engineering reports have indicated that the Colliery Dams are in much better condition than previously considered; 

The risk assessment indicates significantly less consequence to downstream residents; 

The Dams have now been re-classified and are no longer extreme consequence; 

It was moved and seconded that Council receive the Colliery Dams Update report and direct Staff to:

(a) not proceed with any design work or expenditure for the alternate drainage course/swale for the Lower Colliery Dam; 

(b) consult with and engage other primary stakeholders including Snuneymuxw First Nation, the Colliery Dam Park Preservation Society, and the general public in order to revise as deemed necessary the Dam Safety Management Program (latest version February 2013) which revision will reflect the recent change in classification and in addition to revise the emergency plan and measures, including signage and monitoring measures; 

(c) report on the revisions determined from the above and to seek Council’s further direction at that time; 

(d) consult and engage the primary stakeholders named above in any and all future process and planning, including any proposed remedial measures regarding the Colliery Dams Park; and, 

(e) amend the Schedule for Remediation to reflect the current lowered classification to permit more time to investigate and prepare a revised plan for any required remediation when determined and to inform the Dam Safety Section of the above direction by Council.

The motion carried. Opposed: Councillor Brennan


BC Ferries Nanaimo - August Long Weekend 2015


Nanaimo August Long Weekend Weather

Nanaimo August Long Weekend
Weather Outlook


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Car Accident St. George and Terminal Ave.

A two car accident snarled traffic at this busy intersection around 12:30 Tuesday afternoon. As of this posting no details have been released as to what happened and whether serious injuries were sustained. While I was there the ambulance was not leaving the scene, so presume people were receiving treatment on site.

In the meantime southbound traffic was being re-routed onto St. George Street to Millstone Ave. to proceed toward downtown.

I frequently use this intersection and have seen a few accidents with lots of 'opportunities' for many more being narrowly averted.


Bowen Road Farmers' Market July 29/15

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.


Fibber Magees - Nanaimo Closing Aug. 16

Fibber Magees
Train Station - Selby Street

The following announcement is posted on this Irish Pub - Restaurant's Facebook page, announcing their closing next month. 

This is an unfortunate announcement that we are making but Fibber Magees Station is closing down. Last day will be August 16th. Please make the last 3 weeks go out with a bang and come to visit us.

This company also owned the Fox and Hound in Nanaimo which they sold after opening this restaurant in the old train station. This building (including the pub) was granted a ten year tax exemption by the previous city council.

The restaurant business has always had a reputation for fatalities and over the past few years Nanaimo's restaurant scene has seen several changes of ownership and outright closures. This is also a business dependent upon discretionary spending which is not in great abundance in Nanaimo these days.


Free Concert in Nanaimo Aug. 8/15


Monday, July 27, 2015

Councillor Pratt Sees More Studies As A Waste

At the July 27th City Council meeting during the discussion about the Terms of Reference for the Colliery Dams Select Committee Councillor Pratt voiced her opinion that more studies are just a waste of tax dollars.

She seems to have forgotten that the same logic would never have gotten to the bottom of the study claiming the loss of 150 lives in a catastrophic failure of the Colliery Dams during a seismic event.

What she doesn't seem to recognize is that if the calculations of the lower dam spillway are not accurate and in fact they could withstand the amount of water speculated that the 1:34,000 year flood might generate it is possible we do not need an auxiliary spillway. For that matter accurate calculations could perhaps result in a smaller spillway, which arguably should cost less money.

To argue that another study is just a waste of money, seems to either deny what history has proven or not fully understanding some of the issues surrounding this whole dam saga.


What Changed Councillors Colliery Dams Stance?

What Pressure Came To Bear?

The apparent, dare I say 'flip' of the five councillors who have been defying enormous pressure to capitulate seemed to come suddenly and with little warning.

During the last election six of our elected officials promised to re-examine the Colliery Dam Debacle with Mayor McKay declaring the dams were just fine. He soon had a change of opinion once winning a seat in the 'big chair' leaving five councillors attempting to fulfil their promises to the electorate. The culmination of their efforts was seen at the July 20 council meeting with an eleventh hour decision to avoid the heavy hand of senior government officials. Officials who are now demanding Nanaimo taxpayers fork out millions of dollars on a problem yet to be proven to exist.

Not this Council's making

The current Colliery Dams Debacle can be laid squarely at the feet of the previous Council under the direction of Mayor Ruttan. In short, this council has been tasked with dealing with a nearly untenable situation which is not of their making. The last election has freed Mayor Ruttan and Councillors Greves, Anderson, Johnstone and Pattje from accountability for the part they played in this whole dam mess. Councillors Kipp, Bestwick, Brennan and now-Mayor McKay are also culpable in the mess we have found ourselves in.

The Council led by John Ruttan originally agreed to remove the dams based on information supplied to them by city staff behind closed doors in 2012.  Only when information came forward from the public challenging the outrageously high costs being presented to Council did they decide to take another look at the whole process. Anyone following this whole damn dam saga is well aware of all the twists and turns along the way, during which time that City Council including those now sitting on this new council, pretty much sat on their hands and allowed the process to bring us to where we are today.

That Council consisting of Ruttan, Greves, Brennan, Bestwick, Kipp, Johnstone, Pattje, Anderson and McKay seemed to buy into the seismic calamity, 150 deaths scenario presented with all the authority a P Eng stamp adds to a document. All the time ignoring members of the public who simply saw the whole thing as one huge mistake. One possible explanation was that council's complete inability to apply any critical thinking to the scenario city staff was laying out before them. Either that, or a totally blind faith in whatever staff was telling them. Either way, what they were supporting was later proven to be inaccurate after proper study had been done.

The mess that this previous council left to be dealt with by our current council is something they should be remembered for.

This Council's making

This council has apparently bought into the latest scenario presented with all the authority of a P Eng stamp. This time a seismic event is not the bogeyman but rather a flood of either biblical or mythical proportions. It should be noted that even though a P Eng stamp is hauled out as the authority to spend $5 million tax dollars, those same engineers time and again say in those reports that time and budget constraints stopped them from doing full investigations.

One very simple point: ask Golder Associates what is the geometry of the dam and whether it is a gravity or earthen dam? You would think these two questions would need answering as the basis for all the conclusions as to how the dams would perform in a highly unlikely flooding event. Yet, they can't answer either of those questions. Why? Because their studies are incomplete.

You might also ask why they are relying on calculations for the spillway flow rates when actually measuring the flow is the only method to obtain accurate data. Why have they relied on calculations rather than accurate measurements? Why did city staff not insist on finding the accurate capacity of the spillway, as that is key to the need to do the auxiliary spillway.

The $8,000,000.00 Question

Why are city staff and now this Council so willing to set fire to millions of tax dollars to solve a problem that arguably has not been proven to exist?  Some might say it is because a senior government is 'making' them do it. That is nonsense, the senior government is making their call based on information supplied to them by the City of Nanaimo. That is where the buck needs to stop for this whole damn, dam debacle.


You're Smiling Right Now - Aren't You?

Spotted in Maffeo Sutton Park on race day


WestJet Adds Edmonton - Nanaimo Non-stop

New Non-Stop Edmonton - Nanaimo Dec. 15/15

WestJet announced a new non-stop service between Edmonton and Nanaimo beginning on December 15 of this year.

The daily flight from Edmonton to Nanaimo departs at 12:45 pm arriving in Nanaimo at 1:51pm. The Nanaimo to Edmonton flight departs Nanaimo at 2:25pm arriving in Edmonton at 5:12 pm.

The Edmonton to Nanaimo one-way fare is $196.48 and the Nanaimo to Edmonton one-way fare is $170.23.


Nanaimo Summer Concerts in the Park

Click To Enlarge
Enjoy FREE Concerts in the Park 


Green Nanaimo Awards - Nominations Open


Green Nanaimo Awards

Nominations are now open for the Green Nanaimo Awards. Recipients are awarded for their contributions to enhance, preserve and protect Nanaimo's natural environment.

Individuals, groups and companies can nominate themselves or be nominated by another party for six available awards. The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm.

There are six available awards: Jeff Thomas Environmental Award, Green Home/Neighbourhood Award, Healthy Living Award, Energy Conservation Award, Environmental Awareness Award and Merve Wilkinson Award with Distinction.

Nominations forms can be found on the City website and in City facilities.

Nominations for the Green Nanaimo Awards close Tuesday, September 15 at 12:00 pm.

"There are a lot of individuals and groups in Nanaimo doing their part as stewards of our natural environment, whether they are at home, at work, or volunteering. These awards are a small way we can recognize their efforts."  -  Rob Lawrance Environmental Planner City of Nanaimo 


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nanaimo Bathtub Race Winners - 2015

Click Images To Enlarge
 Shawn Lamoureux second to the beach at Swy-a-lana-lagoon
Justin Lofstrom third to the beach pouring it on at the finish line
 Justin stumbles from his tub and the race is on
 Justin and Shawn battling for second place
Justin lunges for the bell, Shawn lunges for Justin
 Justin takes second place, one second in front of Shawn

Being Second On The Beach
Doesn't Mean Second Place

This years Bathtub Race for the first time ended where it started in the inner harbour. Tubbers had to come ashore at Swy-a-lana lagoon, make their way up the ramp and ring the bell which was just in front of the Frank Ney statue.

As you may already know, a racer's official time is not recorded until they actually ring the bell to stop the clock. This year saw second place decided by the foot race to the bell, rather than being first on the beach.

The above photo's capture the competitive spirit of all tubbers, who don't stop pushing until they ring the bell. In this case the first to the beach was Shawn Lamoureux who came to the beach closely behind Nathan Barlow who was this year's race winner. Shawn had just come ashore when third place (on the water) tubber Justin Lofstrom came barrelling ashore, landing his tub 'full-tilt' onto the rocky shore.

Realizing that second place was within his grasp Lofstrom sprinted for the bell, ducking in from of Lamoureux on the ramp and pushing his way to the glorious finish line. As the photos above attest second place this year was decided by the one fleetest of foot as Justin was second to ring the bell, while being third to make it to the beach.

Several other finish places were decided in similar manner, as some other tubbers first to shore, simply couldn't get their legs in gear after an hour and a half of gruelling, cramping, pounding on the high seas.

Let's see that finish .............. one more time..........


City Participation In Bathtub Days - Dismal?

Mayor Bill McKay - Sailpast on Wheels Parade

Aside from the Nanaimo Bar, there is likely nothing Nanaimo is better known for than the Bathtub Races which launched Nanaimo onto the international stage in 1967. This was the 49th year that Nanaimo has been able to keep the Great International Bathtub Race going as an event which still packs out the shoreline at Maffeo Sutton Park.

This was the first year that the Great Race started and finished in Nanaimo harbour, a change many think was long overdue.  This year was a vast improvement from years previous when you saw the start in the harbour and had to go to Departure Bay for what, many times is a pretty anticlimactic finish. By finishing in the harbour, people could stay in the park and see the tubbers come back into the harbour in a little over one hours time. Some of the finishes this year were pretty exciting, as tubbers engaged in foot races to decide final standing in the race. 

Where is the City of Nanaimo In The Great International Bathtub Race??

Mayor McKay to his credit participated in several events over Bathtub Weekend, even being a good sport about raising money in the dunk tank. That said, it is a sad statement when he is the only member of city council to participate in the Sailpast on Wheels parade. Where were the other members of Council?? For that matter why doesn't the City of Nanaimo have at the very least one entry in the Bathtub Race?? What's up with that? Surely out of 700+ employees there must be enough sense of community to participate in an event we are so well known for.

While we are considering the levels of participation, one must also ask why the business community seems to participate so sparingly? Where is the parade and race entry from the local Chamber of Commerce?

Next year is the 50th anniversary of an event that brought ABC wide world of sports to Nanaimo and entrants from as far away as Australia. Nanaimo keeps looking for that iconic Tourist Magnet to enhance our local economy, when perhaps we are sitting on a gold mine if we, as a community got behind this event and gave it the support it deserves. This could be a first class, international event once again if Nanaimo tried rowing in the same direction for a change.


2015 Bathtub Race Winner - Nathon Barlow

 Heading for the beach
 On solid ground
Ringing the bell for the first time at the new finish line

Winning the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race for the fourth time, Nathan Barlow officially finished in 1 hr. 15 mins. and 24 seconds. However, Natham added several seconds to the finishing time waiting (I think) to see if fellow competitor and friend Shawn Lamoureux would arrive in time to ring the bell together. It was not to be and Nathan rang the bell to be the first official winner of the race to end at Maffeo Sutton Park, under the shadow of the statue of Frank Ney.


July 27 Council Meeting CHANGE OF LOCATION

Special Open City Council Meeting
Monday July 27/15 4:30 PM

This meeting was originally scheduled to be held in the SARC building, and in fact the agenda posted on the city website still shows that location. However, the addendum now published shows three delegates speaking to the Colliery Dam item, and a notice of a change of location to the SHAW Auditorium. The meeting time is still the same even though it is a Council Meeting and not a COW meeting.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

2015 Bathtub Race Course Map & Event Schedule

This year race starts in the harbour, rounds Entrance Island, north rounds Winchelsea and ends back in the harbour with the finish bell by the Frank Ney Statue in Maffeo Sutton Park.


St. Paul's Anglican Church - New Addition

The source of that rat-a-tat sound you may have noticed coming from downtown Nanaimo.

Work is progressing on the first phase of construction at St. Paul's Anglican Church at 100 Chapel Street. They are removing the Church hall portion of the building in preparation for the new addition.

St. Paul's Anglican Church celebrated their 150th anniversary in 2011. The building currently on this site is the third building that has served downtown Nanaimo since the first one was built in 1861. The congregation outgrew their first building which was torn down in 1906 when the second building was constructed. In 1930 that building was destroyed in a fire that destroyed nearly six blocks of downtown Nanaimo. In 1931 the foundation stone was laid for the building which continues to serve on this site.

In May 2009 the parishes of St. James and St. Paul amalgamated into one new and continuing parish in the name of St. Paul.

"In the spring of 2014, St. Paul`s began an ambitious capital campaign to raise funds to build a new Centre for Ministry and Community Service to replace our old church hall. The parish raised over $2.6 million in cash and pledges (that are made over a three year period). Our Centre for Ministry and Community Service will be a centre for the use of the community of Nanaimo. We look forward to working with groups and mission partners that will use our space in ways that fit with our Ministry Plan."


Friday, July 24, 2015

Tour Colliery Dams Destruction Zone

The following is posted on the Dams Direct Action Group Steering Facebook page. Anyone interested in seeing what impact Council's recent decision will have on the park can show up for what is being billed as a 'Tour through the destruction zone'.

"Greetings all;
The president of DDAGS requests we meet at the lower dams;

SUNDAY- July 26th, 2015
2:00 p.m. ( after the bathtub races)

The City, under huge pressure and threats from the Provincial Government, has authorized the digging of a multi million dollar ditch which will entail the cutting of approximately 100 trees (35 or 40 of which are very old) and the blasting of bedrock.

Our mission has always been to protect the Park. Your steering committee needs your support and input to plan our strategy and next steps.

We will also be raising the issue of training for civil disobedience if that is the direction the membership decides we must go.

See you Sunday!"


Nanaimo Bathtub Race - Parade - Fireworks - 2015

For complete event schedule click HERE.

There is lots to see and do this weekend including the big Launch party in Diana Krall Plaza on Friday night. What follows is a quick reference to the key events everyone seems to want to know:

PARADE: Sailpast on wheels parade, downtown Nanaimo starts at 10:30 am Saturday.

FIREWORKS: Quality Foods Festival of lights - 10:00 pm Saturday on the waterfront.

BEER GARDEN: in Maffeo Sutton Park Saturday, 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Sun. 12:00 - 4:00 pm.

BATHTUB RACE; Starts Sunday 11:00 am in the inner harbour, and this year will finish at Swy-a-lana Lagoon approx. one hour later. This is the first year, they will not be finishing in Departure Bay. You will be able to watch the start and finish of the race from the same vantage point this year.


E&N Announcement - "For Sure This Time?"

Published in the Daily News July 24/15 
Will ICF Actually Do Something This Time?

Another day, another announcement from the provincial government, ICF and local officials assuring us, we are getting close now to seeing trains once again running on the E&N rail line which has been mothballed since 2011.

From the press release from the government ministry:

Planned passenger service for this corridor includes twice daily runs from Nanaimo to Victoria, service to Qualicum Beach on Wednesdays and weekends, and service to Courtenay on weekends and statutory holidays.

The provincial funds will be provided to the Island Corridor Foundation once it has confirmed that $7.5 million in federal funding is in place and, through a tendering process, that the upgrade work can be completed within the $20.4 million it has budgeted. The regional districts of Nanaimo, Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Alberni-Clayoquot, the Capital Regional District, Southern Railway of Vancouver Island and the Island Corridor Foundation have committed the remaining $5.9 million of this funding.

Whether this is the 'real deal' this time, one can only hope. This deal still has the caveat that the work must be completed for the budgeted $20.4 million.

The only question that keeps rolling around in my grey matter, is why the original proposal put forward years ago was calling for over $100 million to bring this rail line up to standard, and now it can be done for $20.4 million.

Published June 9/15 on Nanaimo Info Blog.
Another headline in the ongoing E&N - ICF Fairy Tale

The above appears on the front page of today's Daily News and reports yet another study being done on the cost to rehabilitate the E&N railway under the care of the Island Corridor Foundation. The Ministry of Transportation had a study done by RTC Rail Solutions which would indicate the cost to bring the rail line up to a safe standard for passenger and freight traffic would exceed the $15 million that is available.

Not surprisingly Island Corridor Foundation spokesman Graham Bruce claims the government report is based on improper information which his foundations claims to counter. Sound familiar?? What's next another few hundred thousand on yet more and more conflicting reports,  in the meantime ICF does who knows what with the funds they keep collecting, with nearly zero public accountability.

For those following this 'story' you may recall that back in 2010 (I believe) after extensive study the provincial government rejected the business case put forward for this rail line, which at that time was guesstimated to cost something in the order of $120 million to bring up to standard. Here we are years later, with the government basically saying the same thing, and ICF saying the same thing, and all that has happened is a lot of taxpayer cash has been set on fire.

The following appeared on this blog in April of this year, taking a look back over the ICF show which if nothing else has provided a few directors with an income.

 Passenger Rail Arpil 2 2014
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 E and N Good News
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Just About Time For Another ICF Announcement by Graham Bruce?

It should be just about time for the Island Corridor Foundation to roll out another dog & pony show assuring taxpayers that the millions (?) of dollars the Foundation has shepherded have been for more than administration wages and benefits.

Going from memory I thought that just recently there was a $400,000 transfer of funds from the RDN to the ICF. Does the ICF have to give any credible accounting for how these funds have been and are going to be used or are they just some secret society doing as they please behind closed doors?

It is time the ICF were required to make a full and complete public accounting for what they have done these past years.