Monday, February 29, 2016

RCMP Warn Of Bank Examiner Scam

Public warned of Bank examiner and Credit card scam

The Nanaimo RCMP wishes to advise the public of a scam that is currently active throughout Ontario and Manitoba. Due to the fluidity of crimes, there is no reason to think this scam could not surface in British Columbia or in Nanaimo.

The scam involves seniors being contacted by phone advising them that their assistance is required to catch a bank employee who has "been stealing money". The victim is instructed to go to their bank and make a cash withdrawal .The victim is then told to not tell the bank teller what they are doing because the teller may be involved. The victim is instructed to place the cash in an envelope and meet the "the investigator" in a nearby parking lot where the cash is then turned over. If successful the investigator attempts a further request, to request funds to ensure the investigation is a success. In one occasion, the "investigator" also asked if the senior had any cash at home because the employee had been handing out counterfeit money. In this particular incident, the senior turned over $6000 in cash from their residence which the "investigator" confirmed was counterfeit by looking at the serial numbers.

In 2015 alone, over 40 complaints have been received by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre involving 25 victims reporting a loss of $235,000.

The credit card scam involves suspects pretending to be employees with either MasterCard, Visa or a bank, who advise that there has been an unauthorized purchase on the victim’s credit card or debit card, often through E-Bay. The suspect then asks the victim to confirm their credit card and other personal information in order for them to reverse the charge. In some cases, the victims were asked to give the suspect remote access to their computer. In doing so , the suspects are able to access their online banking or help the victim create one. Funds are then moved from their savings into their chequing account to make it look like the police or the bank "gave them money to help catch the hackers. The money is then withdrawn from their account, with the amount ranging from a couple hundred of dollars to several thousand. The suspects have been calling on various numbers; one of which was 909-585-1400

To learn more about the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre, check out their website .


Jesse Savidant - Warrant Issued - Canada Wide

Canada wide warrant

A Canada wide warrant has been issued for the arrest of 26 year old Jesse SAVIDANT for breaching the terms of his day parole.

SAVIDANT was granted day parole and instructed to reside at the Salvation Army New Hope Centre in Nanaimo. On Thursday February 25th, he failed to return to the Centre and as a result, the warrant was issued.

SAVIDANT has ties throughout central Vancouver Island but to date his whereabouts are unknown. He is a First Nations male who stands 5 ft. 9, weighs 165 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. He has a history of violence so if seen, do not approach and call either 911 or the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. If you do not wish to provide your name you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or text your TIP to 274637, keyword Nanaimo. TIPS can also be submitted on line at


Shawn Jason Wheldon - Prolific Offender Arrested

Another prolific offender busted

A 40 year old prolific offender is behind bars and $7000 in stolen kitchen appliances has been recovered and returned to its owner.

On Thursday February 25, Shawn Jason WHELDON was arrested by the Nanaimo RCMP Street Crimes Unit operating an overdue 5 ton U-Haul truck. A search of the truck revealed numerous items which included cell phones, Canada post keys, a box cutter and a small quantity of illegal drugs. WHELDON was then linked to a local storage locker that was later searched and revealed a stolen commercial oven, soup warmer, speakers, coffee maker and tile cutter. All of these items were confirmed stolen during a February 22nd break & enter at Quizno's on Terminal Ave. The U-Haul was later returned to its owner undamaged.

A Judicial Bail hearing was held Friday February 26th where WHELDON was remanded in custody to appear on Monday February 29th before a Nanaimo Provincial court judge. This morning, after entering a plea of guilty to the Break and Enter and Possession of Stolen Property, WHELDON was promptly sentenced to 16 months jail time. 

"Prolific offenders account for the overwhelming majority of crimes committed in any given community. When a prolific offender is arrested, it can have a significant and immediate impact on crimes committed in the community and more importantly, in your neighbourhood” said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.


Festival Nanaimo March 1 - April 3 2016

Check out Festival Nanaimo website for full details


Nanaimo Waterfront Never Reached Potential

One Time Tourist Attraction/Farmers' Market

Years ago this was the site of an underwater feature brought up here from Victoria. It was supposed to pack the locals and tourists in but for reasons I don't remember, it just never really ever got off the ground.

It is a huge building, you would think is just begging for the right idea to come along and breath life into what appears to be a prime piece of real estate.

Like many other diamonds in the rough around Nanaimo, we never seem to get past the study, let's talk about it some more stage. Conference centres, conference centre hotels, Hilton hotels, world class attraction on Newcastle, cruise ship terminal, etc. etc.


Only Happens Every Four Years!

A little photo-art by local photo artist Sher Falls


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Old City Annex - Down Memory Lane

Another place tax dollars go to die?

Anyone familiar with City Hall on Wallace Street will recognize this distinctive structure on the corner of Franklyn and Wallace Street. It served as rental space for city staff for several years and was finally purchased by the city many years ago. At that time considerable money was spent upgrading the building and I have been told the wisdom of the day said the building should be good for fifty years.

Fast forward to 2011 when for reasons that are shrouded in mystery and speculation city staff of the day convinced the council of the day the building just wouldn't do. To paraphrase an engineers' report of the day 'in a seismic event the structure could fail'. That was the rationale for council being directed by staff into spending over $16 million on that shiny new office behind city hall. The one with an assessed value of less than $9 million. It was also the building that was built without ever going to tender, even though that would have been in violation of the city's own procurement policy of the day. Incidentally, that policy was revised in March of 2011, the same month the new annex deal was decided behind closed doors.

Senior staff of the day would have included Mr. Kenning, Mr. Holmes and Mr. Swabey to name a few. The decision to spend $16 million on that new annex was all done in-camera and was not even made public until more than 30 days after the decision was made. Remember this was all said to be necessary because the old annex was this death trap pictured above.

After the old annex was finally vacated, the city was now left with the task of disposing of it. Had they put the $4 million building on the market we might have found out what it was worth. However, city staff of the day, with council's help, put a restrictive covenant on the property which rendered it worthless. They said the building had to be either demolished or brought up to a seismic standard (not required by the building code) as a condition of sale. My own unproven opinion is that this was done to avoid the possibility of a new owner having the building inspected by another engineer who might determine the building was not in as nearly bad a condition as we were told. It would be hard to justify that new $16 million building if this one was actually still serviceable.

Enter Tectonica/Cracey Holdings

There was an announcement from the city in Dec. 2012 saying that Tectonica Management Inc. and the city had entered into a purchase and sale agreement for 238 Franklyn Street. At that time the city agreed to pay Tectonica $40,000, which was identified as the equivalent of two years taxes. I presume the assumption was that the property would now generate taxes since the city was no longer the owner. Tectonica I believe paid the usual sum of $1 for the property under this deal. I have yet to find out if the city ever actually paid Tectonica the $40,000.00.

Although the announcement was made in 2012, the two year clock did not start running until 2014 meaning that Tectonica was to have either demolished or upgraded the building by Jan. 2016 in order to honor their part of the agreement.

In-Camera Secret Decisions

Apparently in the fall of 2015 Tectonica approached the city of Nanaimo seeking an extension to the agreement on the old annex. From the outside it would appear as if no progress has been made in any substantive way to demolish this building. Behind closed doors the current city council agreed to further extend the agreement with Tectonica for another five years, at this time I am told the deal was actually made with a company called Cracey Holdings. This is the company that until a few days ago did not have a licence to do business in the city of Nanaimo. Apparently not an impediment when doing business with the city of Nanaimo. This whole deal was conducted behind closed doors, for reasons I believe would fail a challenge. Done on the watch of former city manager Ted Swabey.

The reason for proceeding in-camera for the minutes of that meeting are said to be:

That the meeting be closed to the public in order to deal with agenda items under the Community Charter Section 90(1): (e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the Council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality; 

How one would argue that the interests of the municipality could be harmed by hearing the request for a five year extension on the old annex is challenging. It is unlikely this deal would have seen the light of day had it not been for the watchful eye of Ron Bolin who contacted the city to see what progress was being made on the old annex. I too had been watching the building, being aware that last year this property had been assessed as having a value of only $2.00. This year the same assessment has been applied, meaning the new 'owner' is still not paying any taxes on the property even though the land should be worth more than $500,000 given neighbouring assessments.

How City Hall & City Council Take Care Of YOUR Interests

I made an inquiry at city hall as to why this property was only being assessed at $2.00. Included in the answer to that question was some volunteered information about the current status of this building. This was the first I was aware that a five year extension had been granted last Oct.5/15 at one of those in-camera meetings this council said they were going to cut back on. Remember?

The reason BC Assessment only assessed the property at $2 is because of the covenant the city put on the property requiring either demolition or upgrade. Saying the building had no value because of the covenant doesn't seem to adequately explain the land having no value. That is a matter for BC Assessment and not city hall staff to answer.

At this secretive Oct. 5/15 meeting several things transpired that I find somewhat disturbing not the least of which is the apparent attempt to keep this whole transaction away from the prying eyes of the public. Shades of how the city decided to build the new annex in the first place.

Between Dec. 2012 when the deal was struck with Tectonica Management Inc. and the Oct. 2015 secret meeting where a five year extension was granted, the company changed to Cracey Holdings. This company until only a few days ago was not licensed to do business in Nanaimo.

If the original deal was made with Tectonica in 2012 and registered as a sale, when did that legally change to Cracey Holdings and change to an option to purchase?

In the 2012 statement the deal was referred to as being a purchase and sale agreement, which is now being referred to as an option to purchase agreement. I asked the city if the two are the same thing, and have been told that yes, they are.

As it stands Cracey have control of this asset from 2012 until 2021 and have no ‘skin in the game’, they are basically holding this city taxpayer asset, tax free for 9 years. That seems like a pretty sweet deal for them, but for Nanaimo taxpayers, not so much.

I asked why the city did not consider removing the 219 covenant on the property and putting it back on the market to see if the building and property, once valued at $4 million might recover more than $2 for Nanaimo taxpayers. The answer I received from city staff was:

If Council had not granted the extension, Tectonica may have demolished the building and, at that time, would have been in compliance.   If they had elected not to demolish the building, only then could Council have been in a position to buy back the property and consider the 219 covenant.

This begs the question, why would it not be in the interest of Nanaimo taxpayers to have Tectonica fulfil their part of the agreement entered into in 2012 when they basically added a $4 million asset to their holdings for $1.00. If they did demolish the building, then perhaps BC Assessment might decide that the land is worth at least $500,000 and the city could start collecting taxes on this property. As it is from 2012 until 2021, Tectonica or Cracey have control of an asset worth at least $500,000 to Nanaimo taxpayers.

There is no reason for leaving the 219 covenant on that property, as there are plenty of building bylaws and rules governing the use of that building without completely making it worthless.

There is enough about this whole deal to make the average taxpayer’s tummy do a bit of a flip flop. When we elected a new council it was hoped we were not going to be getting more of the same with secretive, backroom deals that seem to favour some members of the local business community. You don't have to listen to too many coffee shop conversations to learn that Nanaimo's city hall has one very bad reputation as a place to do business.

This Council I am sure have ample reason to revisit this issue and do what is right for Nanaimo taxpayers. Will they?

Comment: I have been on this whole Annex saga since 2011 when in my opinion $16 million of taxpayer money was used in a most secretive and far from straightforward manner. It was the first issue I addressed council about back in 2011 after starting an online petition which gathered nearly 1000 signatures and got coverage in the News Bulletin on two separate occasions. 

I frustrated city staff and myself pursuing an FOI to get the documents that led to that decision which seems to have badly bent many rules, not the least of which was spending millions of tax dollars without ever going to public tender. Concealing the vote so that in the election year of 2011, taxpayers were asked to support councillors without knowing how they stood on this questionable use of tax dollars.

There is much about this whole deal I would like to see subjected to a full investigation to determine if proper procedure, due diligence and adherence to best practices were even ever so slightly followed on this issue.

The electorate has become more and more jaded about how their servants are conducting business on their behalf, and this is one prime example of why that suspicion is not misplaced.

There seems few mechanisms whereby these elected and non-elected officials can be held responsible and accountable for how they use or misuse public funds.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Way To Lower Nanaimo Taxpayers Taxes

Collect Fines From Every Business
Not Having A Business Licence In Nanaimo

I seem to recall there is a fine of up to $100/day for doing business in Nanaimo without a business licence.

A little birdie tells me that both Mr. Berry of Jerry Berry & Associates and Mr. Moss of Cracey Holdings have in fact now taken out business licences. I wonder how many days they would be subject to a fine, if someone chose to impose one?

I wonder how many other businesses are operating without the proper licencing, especially those who may be associated with doing business at city hall?? Mr. Kenning? Ms Habkirk?? Just a couple of names that come to mind.


Krogel Arrested By Slocan Lake RCMP

KROGEL arrested on sex assault warrant

25 year old Kynan James KROGEL of Nanaimo, subject of a Provincial warrant for sexual assault, has been arrested and is currently in police custody.

Nanaimo RCMP was advised by Slocan Lake RCMP that on Thursday February 25th KROGEL was located in their jurisdiction and arrested without incident. A Judicial Bail hearing was held at which time KROGEL, was remanded in custody until Monday February 29th , where he will then appear before a Provincial court judge.


FREE Skate In Nanaimo - Feb. 28/16

The Lions Club of Nanaimo will once again be hosting Free Everyone Welcome skate sessions from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm on Sundays from Sept.13/15 until March 27, 2016 at Frank Crane Arena. On Nanaimo Clippers Junior 'A' game days, the Lions Free Skate will run from 10:45 am to 12:30 pm. This valued project continues the long tradition of the Nanaimo volunteer service to the community of Nanaimo.

The Lions Free Everyone Welcome skate sessions include admission, helmets and skate rentals.
There will not be a Lions Free Everyone Welcome skate session on December 27 due to the Winter Wonderland event.


Nanaimo's Whiskey Festival - March 4/16

The 13th annual Wee Tipple Festival - with a WEE taste of fine wines, beer and spirits, too - takes place
Friday, March 4, 2016, from 7 to 10pm at
The Grand Hotel, 4898 Rutherford Road.
Sipping, sampling and tasting takes place from 7 - 10 pm.
Options for a ‘safe ride home’ will be available, and the Grand Hotel is offering a Wee Tipple rate for guests who wish to just ‘take the elevator home’.
Tickets for the evening are $95 in advance only at the Grand Hotel front desk, Crimson Coast office, or online
For more information Crimson Coast Dance Society: 250.716.3230The Grand Hotel: 250.758.3000


Friday, February 26, 2016

Shaunna Morgan - New City Hall Watchdog?

Consultants Don't Need Business Licence?

Regular Council watchers will be aware that Shaunna Morgan appeared before city council at a recent Committee of the Whole meeting beseeching Council to conduct an investigation into the hiring of interim City Manager Tracy Samra. She further requested council engage a third party to oversee the hiring of our permanent city manager. Claiming no confidence in the process of hiring our interim manager (she never disclosed her source of information) and no confidence in this council to hire our permanent city manager.

Throughout her delegation to council she kept insisting it was all about the process which led to the hiring of the interim manager that was the issue and that it had nothing to do with the qualifications of the person chosen. One might be forgiven if this doesn't really pass the smirk test. When asked by a councillor if she had any issue with the appointments recently at the Regional District, she seemed oblivious to the point being made.

Being a curious fellow by nature I thought I might see who this new city hall watchdog was, having only heard of her recently through some social media posts, where she seems to be championing our Mayor. She is also associated with local businessman Don Bonner, who, some may recall put up the original post on Facebook, claiming inside knowledge into the hiring of our interim city manager.  That post has subsequently been taken down.

I discovered that Ms Morgan and another person are the owners of Van Isle Consulting, from which website the above screengrab was taken. Since Ms Morgan presents as someone very concerned about process and the proper order of things in Nanaimo, I thought I would check to see if she was licenced to do business in the city of Nanaimo. She had given her residence/business address as being 1000 Terminal Ave. Nanaimo, when she made her delegation to council.

When I could find no record of a business licence to that company, claiming to be operating for several years, I inquired of Ms Morgan if they were in fact licenced to do business. I received the following reply from Ms Morgan:

As an independent consultant, we do not require a business license Jim.

Please review our website for the services we offer.

I hope this ‎answers your question.

Shaunna Morgan

This didn't strike me as being correct so I inquired of city hall and received the following response to whether or not a consultant, conducting business in Nanaimo is required to be licenced:

Good morning Mr. Taylor – your email below has been forwarded to me for a response.  Please be advised, Section 3.1 of “BUSINESS LICENCE BYLAW 1998 NO. 5351” requires any business entity carrying on business in Nanaimo to hold a valid City of Nanaimo business licence.  Unless, pursuant to Section 3.5. a business is a not-for-profit organization registered as a society then a business would be exempt from the requirement to hold a valid City of Nanaimo business licence.

The definition of a Business - means:

(a) carrying on a commercial or industrial undertaking of any kind, or
(b) providing professional, personal or other services for the purpose of gain or profit.

Subsequently, if Van Isle Consulting Ltd. is conducting business (consulting) within City of Nanaimo boundaries, they require a City of Nanaimo business licence or an Inter-Community Business Licence from one of the 12 participating municipalities to do so.

I trust Ms Morgan will be applying for a business licence, and perhaps paying the fees she clearly has not paid in years past. I believe there is a substantial fine for conducting business in Nanaimo without a business licence.

Jerry Berry & Associates
Cracey Holdings

No Business Licence Either??

After determining that consultants did in fact need a licence to operate in the city of Nanaimo, I tried to see if ex-city manager Mr. Berry was licenced as I know he too is a consultant. I couldn't find a business licence issued in that name either.

Cracey Holdings, you may know as the company the City of Nanaimo generously gave the old annex to for $2.00 and just recently extended their option to purchase for another five years. Turns out I couldn't find a licence for them either.

You have to wonder if the city of Nanaimo doesn't have a policy about entering into a business arrangement with companies that aren't licenced to do business in our city. It would be hard to imagine that Mr. Berry was unaware of the requirement and Cracey Holdings for that matter since Mr. Moss is well known in downtown business circles.


Maple Sugar Festival Nanaimo Feb. 26 - 28

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

 Maple Sugar
Click banner to visit website for full details


Thursday, February 25, 2016

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

 Staff Shortages

This CP story reports that thousands of pounds of lobster had to be thrown out simply because there was a shortage of staff to process the product. The New Brunswick Fisheries Minister is hoping the Federal Government will make more temporary foreign workers available, as there are some jobs that Canadians just won't do, even with another $5 or $10 an hour being offered.

 Farm Workers

This CP story reports Norm Hall of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan as saying 'there are just not enough farm boys left'. His and other groups in Canada want the Feds to allow more temporary foreign workers into the country to work on farms. Currently about 20,000 foreign workers can be hired seasonally for up to eight months.

Norm Hall said the same thing as New Brunswick's Fisheries Minister "there are some jobs that Canadians just won't do".

Comment: We can talk all we want about food sustainability, and growing food closer to home, but it does raise the question if we are going to have to import workers from Mexico to pick our food for us? After all, we are all far above menial, manual labour don't you know.


Nanaimo Seeking Summer Entertainers

City seeking entertainers for summer events
Canada Day & Summer Concerts in the Parks

The City of Nanaimo is seeking entertainers for the upcoming Canada Day (July 1) event and the Summer Concerts in the Parks series.

Canada Day performances will be held in the Lions Pavilion in Maffeo Sutton Park from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm on July 1.

Performances for the Concerts in the Parks series will be held Wednesday evenings from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the Bowen Park amphitheatre in July and at the Lions Pavilion in Maffeo Sutton Park in August. There will also be a lunchtime concert held in Maffeo Sutton Park on Mondays from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.

Entertainers interested in performing during the Canada Day celebrations and/or the Concerts in the Parks series can download the application package located on the City website or pick up an application package in Bowen Park, Nanaimo Aquatic Centre or Oliver Woods Community Centre.

Deadline for submissions is April 3/16 at 4:00 pm

Click image to download application package

For more information on performing during the Canada Day event please email or call 250-755-7524 and for Concerts in the Parks series please contact Deborah Beck at 250-756-5203 or


Things That Make Ya' Shake Your Head



Great Suggestion For Diana Krall Plaza

A Speaker's Corner
A great idea in need of a champion!

The following suggestion came from a follower on Facebook who put forward the suggestion we need a Speaker's Corner in the Krall Space! Excellent idea ....... now who is going to champion the cause?

A couple of suggestions to get the ball rolling, is that no topic would be off limits (profanity and common courtesy apply) and each speaker would have a limited amount of time unless the crowd wished to extend that time. It might take a soap box and sound system of some kind, but could provide a welcome venue for public engagement in things that matter to all of us.


Nanaimo - Affordable Option To Vancouver Housing

 Financial Post Nanaimo housing

This article in the Financial Post represents Nanaimo as a viable housing option for folk who have been priced out of the over heated Vancouver housing market.

The fifty year old owner of a consulting firm located in Vancouver made the choice to live in Nanaimo, where housing is about 25% the cost of Vancouver housing and because of advantages to raising his family.

Currently even costing in the $100 seaplane fare for commuting there is a financial advantage to living in Nanaimo and working in Vancouver as illustrated in this Vancouver Sun article. Scott Brown of the Vancouver Sun demonstrates that an annual housing cost saving of $76,800 could be realized by living in Nanaimo rather than Vancouver. The difference is cut in half when he factored in the cost of a daily $198/round trip float plane commute which was pegged at $40,000/yr.

Even factoring in the cost of a floatplane round trip, there are advantages to be realized, however, when the much-anticipated downtown to downtown foot ferry service gets up and running, that advantage increases considerably in Nanaimo's favour.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Festival Nanaimo Coming This March

 Festival Nanaimo brochure

To view/download the 4 page brochure highlighting events and activities of this year's Festival Nanaimo click the above image.


A Hole In The Wall At Diana Krall Plaza

Live site screen removed

If you haven't been to Diana Krall Plaza recently you might be surprised to notice the absence of the 'big screen' that has been a fixture in the plaza for many years. The screen was an Olympics legacy project costing $389,000 with $330,000 coming from senior government.

The city recently decided to dismantle the screen which had passed it's useful life saving taxpayers over $15,000 per year. The LED modules have been removed and will be sold. Some components however are being retained to be used to extend the life of the screen on the VICC.

As of this writing I have not found out how the 'hole' is going to be dealt with but perhaps something creative can be done in conjunction with some grand overall plan for the Plaza itself. Few would deny that the plaza has never been able to live up to it's potential for reasons that make this humble scribes mind wobble. Talk about a diamond in the rough ...... still just looks like a hunk of coal! Not that I have anything against coal.

Any suggestions for the plaza? I noted that last year when the parklet was set up on Commercial St., just across from Diana Krall Plaza that on many days it outdrew the Krall Space based on the number of people using the space.

Come on Nanaimo we can do better than this...............


A Winter's Day In Nanaimo At Westwood Lake

Winter weather buffets Nanaimo
residents head to the lake for shelter

Blue skies and temperatures in the 10°C range made for a perfect day to spend some time at Westwood Lake. The entrance parking lot was near capacity as many folk took advantage of the warming rays in their struggle to cope with another winter's day in Nanaimo.

Pictured above is a lone kayaker enjoying a leisurely paddle around the lake and a group of children on an outing with the Boys and Girls Club. I did not see anyone enjoying a swim, which is just as well given there are no lifeguards on duty just yet.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Nanaimo Business Award Finalists

Nanaimo’s Business Achievement Award Finalists Announced

This year’s Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards finalists have been announced with the number of contenders greatly exceeding any past year’s count.

According to Kim Smythe, Chamber CEO, “I think the increase in nominations partly reflects the positive performance of much of the business community in the past year. Many businesses are proud of their successes and happy to join in celebrating this and their colleagues accomplishments in 2015.”

The Business Achievement Awards will be presented in an ‘Oscar-style’ red carpet event at the Port Theatre on Friday, March 4. Reserved seats are available at the Port Theatre Box Office. “We’ve been doing this in a gala banquet format for years and decided it was time for a change. Taking a ‘showtime’ approach hopefully also elevates the finalists and winners to an onstage presentation to recognize them for their great work in the past year” stated Smythe.

“Paparazzi, upscale appies, plenty of bubbly available, a jazz band in the lobby, a 10 piece big band on stage to help welcome winners to the podium, and an After Party at Minnoz will surely all help add to the festive atmosphere and mood” according to the Chamber CEO.

This is the 16th annual event presented by the Chamber. Nominations were open to all businesses in the Greater Nanaimo area, whether they are Chamber members or not.

Living Forest Campground
Nanaimo Track & Field Club
Sundown Diving
Vancouver Island Catamaran
Vancouver Island Expeditions

HOSPITALITY (under 20 employees)
Brannen Lake Campgrounds

HOSPITALITY (over 20 employees)
Coast Bastion Hotel

Coco Café
Riso Foods Inc.
The Nest
Westwood Bistro
White Spot North

2 Chefs Affair
Bee’s Knees
Modern Café
The Nest


Arrest Warrant Issued - Kynan James KROGEL

Arrest warrant issued for sex assault on railway tracks

An arrest warrant has been issued for a 25 year old male in connection with the sexual assault of a 14 year old girl. The incident occurred on Friday February 12 along the railway tracks near Hecate St and behind the Islamic Cultural Centre.

25 year old Kynan James KROGEL of Ladysmith is arrestable for one count of sexual assault. KROGEL is a white male who stands 6 ft. 1 and weighs approximately 180 pounds. He has light brown hair, blue eyes and often sports a blonde beard which he recently shaved off. Attached photos show KROGEL with and without a beard.

If seen, KROGEL should not be approached. If you know the whereabouts of Kynan James KROGEL, call 911, the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or submit your TIP on line


Spring Is In The Air In Nanaimo


Monday, February 22, 2016

Housing Needed For Ten Syrian Refugee Families

Immediate need for 10 - 3 bedroom + units - $900/mo.

At the COW meeting on Feb. 22 it was reported the immediate need for housing for 10 Syrian families who will be arriving in Nanaimo as early as next week.

These families do not have local sponsors who would sponsor their housing for the first year, but rely on government funding to provide for their shelter. These are large families and require at least three bedroom housing. The families will be receiving government assistance the equivalent of social assistance which means a family of two adults and five children will receive $1500/mo. with $900/mo of that allocated as the 'shelter portion'.

Clearly there is a huge gap between what the government allows for shelter and the realities of the price of market rental prices in Nanaimo. It is hoped that landlords will come forward who want to help these people settle in Nanaimo and will be able to offer lower than market rents.

If this sounds like you, you should get in touch with the City of Nanaimo 250-754-4251 or the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society at 250-753-6911.


Ferry Service Delegation - No Show

IFSL President delegation pulled 

Dr. Stewart Vinnels, President, Island Ferry Services Ltd. was listed on the agenda for the COW meeting of Feb.22 to brief council on the funding confirmation for Island Ferries.

The reason the delegation was removed from the meeting was not explained and 'yours truly' listened to the entire 5 hour COW meeting waiting for some exciting news about our much anticipated downtown ferry service. 

Nanaimo does seem to have a negative response to talk about a downtown ferry and these on-again off-again announcements do nothing to dampen that response.


Unsolved Crimes In Nanaimo - Feb. 11 - 10/16

Unsolved crimes

1. Nanaimo file # 2016-4203 On Thursday February 11th, a male stole a white Samsung Galaxy E tablet from The Source, located at 3200 Island Highway.  The male picked up the tablet from a display table and ran out the front door with it. He is described as white, 20-30 years of age, wearing all black and with a black baseball cap. The sweater worn by the male appeared to have a monster head with its mouth open over much of the back of the sweater.

2. Nanaimo file # 2016-4222 Sometime overnight on Thursday February 11, someone entered an unlocked shop at 2540 Elk Trails Way and stole the complainants truck keys, cell phone and glasses. The truck keys were then used to access his truck and take the garage door opener.

3.  Nanaimo file # 2016-4283 On Friday February 12 a shed, greenhouse and grey Dodge pickup, located at the rear of a home in the 500 block of Kennedy St, were broken into. The rear slider window on the truck was smashed out and some items were taken which included a yellow Stab-ilia digital level, some loose change and 4 Nickelback CD’s.

4. Nanaimo file # 2016-4318 On Thursday February 12, a 9.9 hp Mercury outboard motor was stolen from a boat, in for repairs at AOK Repair located a 1520 Stewart Ave. The fence surrounding the compound was cut open allowing suspects to enter the yard, unscrew the motor then carry  it from the yard.

5. Nanaimo file # 2016-4708 Sometime overnight on Tuesday February 16, the University Bookstore at VIU was broken into and approximately $20,000 in portable electronics were stolen. The suspects gained entry to the business through an air vent that lead to an adjacent insecure public utility hallway. Taken were 19 tablet/laptops and a number of Go Pro cameras and accessories.

6. Nanaimo file # 2016-4892 On Wednesday February 17, a mountain bike was reported stolen from the corner of University Crescent and 4th St. The bike is a 21 speed green/white Norco, with a black seat and black and grey shocks.

7. Nanaimo file # 2016-4918 On Thursday February 18, a mountain bike was stolen the front porch of a home located at 6148 Cedar Grove. The bike is a silver 29 inch Supercycle with a men's frame.

8. Nanaimo file # 2016-4937 Sometime overnight on Thursday February 18, an unknown person entered an unlocked garage to a home in the 200 block of Tahoe Drive. The garage door was open about 6 inches and it appears the suspect crawled underneath and into the garage. Taken was a mahogany box that contained two watches and a ring of Illes. One of the watches was a Perry Ellis analog while the other was a brown stainless steel with a tan brown wrist band. The ring was a 10K gold with as square middle and small diamond inside the middle of the square.

9. Nanaimo file # 2016-5094 On Friday February 19, a watch was reported missing from the Nanaimo Museum. The watch is described as having a chain with an inscription that reads "Presented to Robert D Nelson, 72, battalion by Atlin and Discovery friends as a mark of esteem for his services in the Great War April 1920".

10. Nanaimo file # 2016-5124 Sometime on Friday February 20, almost 600 litres of diesel oil was stolen from an oil  tank located at 457 Blythe Ave. The homeowner believes the oil was taken sometime between Feb 5th and February 9th.


Fruits & Vegetables Taking Bigger Food $ Bite

This Huffpost article reports that vegetable prices in Canada have risen 18.2% over the previous year, due in part to our falling Loonie. Fresh fruit prices also rose by over 12% year to year. Overall food prices were up 4%.

Lettuce, tomatoes, apples and oranges rose the most during the period showing increases of 17.9%, 11.9%, 16.6% and 11% respectively.

If you think your food dollar is not getting the 'bang for the buck' that it used to, it is not your imagination.


Nanaimo Water Main Flushing Program 2016

Phase One March 1 - 4
City to commence annual water main flushing program

The City of Nanaimo's Engineering and Public Works Department will be commencing its annual water main flushing program this month. Starting in February City crews will be flushing water supply mains from the South Forks dam into to the City. Then, between March and May, crews will flush water distribution mains located throughout the City.

While this program is underway, short periods of low pressure and discoloured water may be expected. Any discolouration is temporary and not a health hazard.

For more information about the water main flushing program and a neighbourhood flushing schedule visit the City website.

 water main flushing

Crews will start by flushing mains in the Cinnabar area, then through town, finishing in the north end of Nanaimo.

Residents are asked to minimize their water consumption if a change in water appearance is noticed. To clear water lines, residents are advised to turn on their cold water tap until the water runs clear.

Anyone with a weakened immune system should reference information on Island Health’s website.

"To help keep Nanaimo's water safe and clean, one thing we do on an annual basis is flush the water mains. This keeps them free of any sediment that may occur in them during the year." - John Elliot City of Nanaimo


Activity Guide Available Online Feb. 24/16

The Spring and Summer Activity Guide can be viewed on the City website starting Wednesday, February 24 and will be available to pick up on Saturday, February 27 at City of Nanaimo recreation centres along with local grocery stores, malls and libraries.

Registration for spring and summer programs opens on Wednesday, March 2.

To get an online registration account and for more information on online registration, please call 250-756-5200.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

COW Meeting February 22/16

Committee of the Whole Meeting
Mon., Feb. 22/16
Shaw Auditorium
4:30 pm VICC

  • Approval to spend $60,000 to develop Child Poverty Reduction Strategy
  • Syrian refugee update
  • Colliery Dam spillway update
  • Appointment of bylaw officers
  • Delegation Mr. Leon Boon, Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition
  • Delegation Ms Rea regards unsightly garbage issues in Nanaimo
  • Island Ferry Services President regarding funding confirmation for ferry project

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 on Shaw Cable are live streamed on the city website and are recorded and can be viewed on the city website HERE.