Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Nanaimo Reuse Rendezvous 2014

Saturday April 26 & Sunday April 27

Spring is the time to get ready for summer by tidying up around the house. Reuse Rendezvous can help both you and the environment by finding a new home for your unwanted household items.

This year’s City-wide free-cycle event is set for Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and April 27. Have fun and make space around your house by taking unwanted furniture, toys, bikes and other items to the curb for others to pick up and reuse. Please ensure you only put out items intended for others to take away.

Reuse Rendezvous emphasizes reuse and keeps useful items out of the landfill. Make it a success by marking items set out for others to take with a free tag and by removing and disposing of any leftovers after April 27. Bargain hunters: please drive carefully, watch for children, and respect private and public property.


Nanaimo Glad & Dahlia Society - Tuber Sale

Nanaimo Gladiolus and Dahlia Society
Annual Tuber Sale
Saturday April 26, 2014 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
Country Club Centre

A huge selection of the many sizes and forms of dahlia flowers in their tuber form. Only $4 per tuber, except for some the of newer varieties and introductions. Some early for best selection!


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Things on the net that make ya' smile

ICF found several ways to hold the line on rail repairs...................


Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation - AGM

NEDC 2013 Annual Report

The annual report presented by Sasha Angus at the NEDC AGM highlighted some of the exciting new projects and investments NEDC is proud to have played a part in this past year.

"The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation continues to strive towards developing and promoting the region as a destination for visitors, residents, innovators and investors" declared Angus in his opening message.

The annual report deals with economic conditions including employment, income, population and building activity this  past year. This past year has seen the release of the Economic Indicators Report which is a vital tool in attracting key industries by providing timely and relevant information as to the state of the local economy.

NEDC has also released economic indicator reports for several of the region's key industries which includes, art and culture, technology and tourism. Surveys have also played a role by collecting feedback from the region's business owners and from visitors to our region. The business conditions survey provides information needed to address the many issues that most influence our business community.

The Visitor Experience Survey was developed working with VIU and Tourism Tofino to gather the first set of primary research data collected for Nanaimo in over a decade. If you want to know what your customer wants............... it's a good idea to ask them, advised Angus during the presentation.

Quarterly Business Retention & Expansion seminars were hosted to shed light on important topics of interest to business owners. The project was very successful and of great value for the many who attended.

Business highlights from this past year included the Tilray Medical Cannabis facility which will see between $6.5 - $7 million spent on capital improvements in the $3 million 35,000 square foot facility in the Duke Point Industrial Park. The Divers Lake innovation and technology park was announced in collaboration with the Sirri Group and Inuktun Services Limited which will see a 70,000 square foot centre open in 2014 which is a major step forward for the knowledge-based economy in Nanaimo.

The finalization of the Conference Centre Hotel deal which will see a 240 room tower complete with swimming pool, shops, restaurants and connecting bridges between the conference centre and Piper Park. The hotel is expected to attract 70,000 Chinese visitors while promoting Nanaimo as a tourism destination in China. The $50 million project will be a major asset for the community and will bolster the conference business at VICC.

A passenger ferry service from downtown Nanaimo to downtown Vancouver is another project the NEDC have been working diligently to see come to pass. The 68 minute trip would use two high-speed passenger ferries, each carrying approximately 300 passengers.

Two other exciting transportation events included the WestJet to Calgary non-stop daily service from Nanaimo to Calgary and the Kenmore Air to Seattle service which started in March of this year.

The filming of Godzilla saw 300 crew members land in Nanaimo for an eight day central Island shoot which was expected to have pumped about $800,000 into the local economy.

Tourism destination development saw Tourism Nanaimo develop the Cedar Yellow Point Artisan Trail which showcases 24 artisans, restaurants and attractions in that region. To further support Tourism a development fund has been established making $125,000 available to help groups and businesses attract overnight visitors to Nanaimo and Region.

The year of 2012 was described as a year of planning, while 2013 was referred to a a year of doing. The meeting was well attended by members of the board of NEDC both incoming and outgoing as well as stakeholders from across the business community.

You can download and view the complete annual report from NEDC HERE.


NEDC Founding Directors Honored

At the recent Nanaimo Economic Development Corp. AGM, volunteer founding directors Moira Jenkins and Bob Bennie were honored with a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication which has seen the Corporation go from a fledgling organization to it's current status in our city. Both directors are now vacating their seats on the board.

The mandate of the NEDC is to build a prosperous community through economic opportunity.


Monday, 21 April 2014

Medicinal Pot Recall - Nanaimo Producer

Green Leaf Medicinals

First Medicinal Marijuana Recall
Greenleaf Medicinals - Purple Cush, Batch PK-10-20-13

OTTAWA – Greenleaf Medicinals of British Columbia, is voluntarily recalling one batch (Purple Kush, Batch PK-10-20-13) of marijuana for medical purposes. The recall is due to issues with the company’s production practices which were identified during an inspection by Health Canada and may impact the product.

Greenleaf Medicinals is instructing clients to immediately discontinue use of any marijuana from this shipment which they may still have remaining in their possession. The company has also informed Health Canada that they are presently working with other licensed producers to find a supply of marijuana for the impacted clients. Health Canada is currently monitoring Greenleaf Medicinal’s recall.
Producers of marijuana for medical purposes are subject to compliance and enforcement measures similar to those in place for other producers of controlled substances. They must meet strict security, control and reporting requirements, and they are regularly inspected.

Dried marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada. Possession and use of marijuana remains illegal in Canada unless authorized under the regulations with the support of a doctor or nurse practitioner.


Regional Recycling School Eco-Club Fundraiser

Nanaimo Small Appliance & Power Tool Recycling Round-up

Come down to the Regional Recycling on Saturday, April 26th to take part in a great event with a great cause! ElectroRecycle and Regional Recycling Nanaimo are proud to be presenting a fundraiser for the Departure Bay Elementary School Eco-Club where you can help by bringing your old small appliances and power tools for recycling. The more material recycled, the more money raised!

There will also be exciting activities to reward YOU for helping to save the environment and contributing towards the fundraiser! Enjoy a FREE LUNCH from Smokin' George's BBQ, enter the draw to win a Norco mountain bike, listen to the Wave 102.3 on-location, and challenge your friends to a round in the bouncy castle obstacle course. This is a great way to spend an afternoon with your family, and an even better way to help contribute towards a great cause!

Examples of items that can be returned include kitchen counter-top appliances, microwaves, fans, hair dryers, alarm clocks and more! For a full list of products that will be accepted on event day, visit


A West Coast Moment

A rare seagull sighting......... through the lens of Sheryl Falls.


Old Free Press Building Reno Nearing Completion

New home of Real Estate Webmasters........

The old Free Press building downtown, next to the other Nanaimo icon, the Modern Cafe, is beginning to look like move-in day can't be far off.

The $2 million renovation to this downtown landmark has seen restoration of the third floor which had been damaged in a fire in 1930. The building was originally built in 1893 to house the Free Press which later became the Nanaimo Daily Free Press.

Real Estate Webmasters is the largest company in the world providing website designs for real estate agents and is headed by Morgan Carey who started the Nanaimo tech company in April 2004. His firm now employs 70+ people and the new building is designed to comfortably house up to 100 employees.


Dining Out For Life In Nanaimo

On Thursday Aoril 24th, over 75 of Vancouver Island’s best-loved restaurants will come together to take part in Dining Out For Life, an annual fundraiser that supports island programs and services for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

One key area of support that directly benefits from Dining Out For Life is nutrition: “Nutrition plays a crucial role in keeping the effects of HIV and AIDS in check.” says Gill Scadeng, nutrition program coordinator at AIDS Vancouver Island. “It’s wonderful that people can come together over a great meal knowing they’re helping to provide nourishment and care to others in their community.”

For one day, participating restaurants will donate 25% of food sales to AIDS Vancouver Island, an island-wide AIDS service organization. The annual event, now in its ninth year, has raised more than $200,000 for programs and services across Vancouver Island.

Dining Out For Life Vancouver Island is part of a larger international effort involving AIDS service organizations serving 60 cities and regions across North America. In 2013, Dining Out For Life events across the US and Canada raised more than $4 million dollars for HIV/AIDS nutrition programs.

Participating restaurants in Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum include;
  • 2 Chefs Affair
  • ACMe Food Co.
  • Bistro 694
  • Cedars at Tigh-Na-Mara
  • Firehouse Grill
  • Gina’s Mexican Cafe
  • Lefty’s Fresh Food
  • Lefty’s Too
  • Lighthouse Bostro and Pub
  • Longwood Brew Pub and Restaurant
  • Perkins Coffee Company
  • Smokin’ eorges BBQ
  • The Nest Bistro
  • Thirsty Camel Cafe
  • Tina’s Diner
Dining out for life


Nanaimo Downtown Hotel - Breaking Ground Soon?

URBAN ONE Builders - General Contractor For Hotel Project

Signs have gone up on the fence surrounding the vacant lot downtown which will be the home of the new high rise hotel Nanaimo has long been waiting for.

After the experience with Millennium it is forgivable if some are a little gun-shy, but this time the hotel is a 'go' and we are likely to see shovels in the ground this May.

The addition of 240 rooms adjacent the Vancouver Island Conference Centre should help the Centre attract larger conferences. The hotel is affiliated with a major Chinese tourism company which hopes to attract close to 70,000 Chinese visitors to our city each year.

In addition to the 240 rooms the hotel will also include a swimming pool, shops, restaurants and a connecting bridge to Piper Park and the conference centre. The $50 million project will be a major asset for our city by facilitating larger conventions and bringing thousands of visitors each year.


Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Meaning of Easter -- The Debt Was Paid!


The events of Palm Sunday followed by His flogging and crucifixion on Good Friday leading to His Glorious Resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday were the fulfillment of what was foretold of Jesus in the familiar Bible verse in Luke:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

His death, burial and resurrection means He paid the debt of the sin of mankind, which had separated man from God since that terrible day in the Garden of Eden. God’s only begotten Son has reconciled what no man could reconcile and once again made the way for man to become whole by coming into perfect union with God Who made him.


Saturday, 19 April 2014

BC Ferries Cancels Nanaimo Sailings

Parking Lots Full At Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay 

Update as of 11:38am April 19, 2014:

Please be advised that the pay parking facilities at Departure Bay terminal have reached capacity.

For traffic updates or more information please call us toll free at 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779), check our website at or go to on your mobile device.

Update as of 11:35 am April 19, 2014:

Please be advised that the pay parking facilities at Horseshoe Bay terminal have reached capacity.
For traffic updates or more information please call us toll free at 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779), check our website at or go to on your mobile device.

Update as of 8:36 am April 19, 2014:

Please be advised that the Queen of Cowichan has cancelled the following sailings due to mechanical difficulties:

10:30 am Leaving Departure Bay
12:30 pm Leaving Horseshoe Bay

For traffic updates or more information please call us toll free at 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779), check our website at or go to on your mobile device.

Update as of 6:18 am April 19, 2014:

Please be advised that the Queen of Alberni has cancelled the following sailings due to mechanical difficulties:

5:15 am departing Tsawwassen
7:45 am departing Duke Point

For traffic updates or more information please call us toll free at 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779), check our website at or go to on your mobile device.


Friday, 18 April 2014

Astounding Magician Andrew Kelly |

If you are a fan of close up card tricks that will make ya' shake your head, this is worth the six minutes to watch. Enjoy!


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

Military funding cuts hit the aircraft carrier fleet hard....................


Easter Spring Fling Downtown Nanaimo

Easter Spring Fling
Diana Krall Plaza
Sat. April 19 - 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Join the fun downtown where you will find pancake breakfast, kid's crafts, face painting, bouncy castles, Twiggly Wiggly the Clown, Emergency Response Vehicles, airbrush tattoos and many other fun activities which includes a visit from the Easter Bunny himself.

Children attending will receive a goody bag with treats and special offers from downtown businesses.


Aspengrove School Moroccan Affair Fundraiser

 Aspengrove School Gala Fundraiser
April 26, 2014 - 6:00 PM
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

This year's gala fundraiser will be raising much needed funds to improve and update their playground.

Your ticket includes:
  • Entry to "A Moroccan Affair" for an evening of Moroccan inspired decor, music and food
  • Champagne reception
  • Dancing and entertainment with Dr. Strangelove Band
  • Casino
  • Live and silent auctions

For ticket and more information visit the Aspengrove School website.


Nanaimo Job Fair - VICC April 24, 2014

Looking for your next great job?

Come to the Job Fair and meet some of Nanaimo's best employers as well as introducing yourself to the FREE services available through WorkBC Employment Centres.

Please pre-register for your Line Pass at


Government Must Rethink MMBC Recycling Plan

 Mike Klassen addresses media during RethinkitBC Coalition press conference

New laws and fees for regulating Printed Paper & Packaging (PPP) waste were passed in 2011, as part of the BC government’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) initiative. The legislation requires all BC businesses that sell packaged goods or supply printed paper to British Columbia residents to pay a fee administered by Multi Material BC (MMBC). Under BC’s new law, any business that produces or imports PPP into the residential waste stream is referred to as a “steward”.

The regulations take effect May 19, 2014, despite the fact that the vast majority of BC businesses have either no idea the regulation exists, or how it will affect them. The BC government has put forward a costly and ill-considered plan that will harm BC businesses and their employees, yet provide no social benefit by reducing waste.

BC businesses are standing up to oppose the government’s new recycling regulations, and multiple business groups have come together to form the RethinkItBC Coalition. We are asking the BC government to put their plan on hold, and rethink it.

CFIB has an action alert campaign urging the BC government to raise the exemption threshold to exclude most small businesses. To support our advocacy we encourage business owners to contact CFIB, sign our MMBC Action Alert, and spread the word to others in your network by sharing the document.

You can download the MMBC Action Alert from the CFIB website HERE.


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Nanaimo BC Ferries - 2014 Easter Long Weekend


Tree & Riparian Protection Bylaws Meaningful ?

Windley Contracting Fined $10,500
Removing 20 trees Encroaches on riparian leavestrip

A development on Songbird Place in Nanaimo is the site of a local contractor encroaching on a riparian setback area and cutting down twenty trees without a permit.

On a tip from a reader I asked the city of Nanaimo if in fact this had happened, the city replied as follows:

Windley Contracting Ltd. was responsible for the removal of twenty trees from a watercourse leavestrip without a tree removal permit.

The resolution was that Windley Construction Ltd.:

 1) Pay $10,500 in fines – twenty (20) tickets issued @ $500 for cutting 20 trees contrary to Sec. 5(1)(a) Cut Any Tree - Management & Protection of Trees Bylaw 2012 No. 7126 and one (1) ticket @$500 issued for Sec. 6.3.1 Watercourse Leavestrip Encroachment – Zoning Bylaw 2012 No. 4500.

2) Complete a detailed restoration plan, prepared by a qualified environmental professional, to restore the disturbed portion of the 7.5 meter setback and to be reviewed and considered for approval by the City.

Windley Contracting is a long standing Nanaimo firm, in fact they built the new city annex which you may recall was built without going to public tender for $12 million. Given their long association with the city of Nanaimo it is difficult to believe they were unaware of the need to obtain permits before cutting down 20 trees, and the fact that all land within  a 15 metre area from a watercourse, is to be left undisturbed.

I have asked city staff to explain why there were not 20 counts of Watercourse Leavestrip Encroachment since they had cut down 20 trees. It would seem logical that each tree should carry the same encroachment fine.

This raises the question as to whether or not these fines are sufficient to deter a developer from deliberately removing whatever trees he wishes if that removal will improve the end value of his/her property. The fines may be enough of a deterrent for the average property owner, but perhaps there should be a much higher fine levied in the case of a property developer or contractor engaged in the same blatant disregard for the bylaws.


James Lunney Cautions Island Municipalities

 Rail Agreement Is In Final Days

James Lunney MP recently cautioned delegates to the AVICC to not be hasty with decisions affecting the Via Rail and Southern Rail agreement currently being negotiated. The following is a copy of letter Dr. Lunney sent to the delegates attending last weekend conference.

Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities
AGM, Qualicum Beach

Attention Delegates,
Re: Future of Rail on Vancouver Island
 I regret that I am not able to join you this weekend in Qualicum Beach for your annual conference. It is reported you will be debating the future of rail on Vancouver Island and a confidence motion regarding the Island Corridor Foundation. I understand the frustration of many in the room over a process that has taken far too long to complete. Like many of you, I have been engaged in this process for more than 10 years, from the time of the original roundtable discussions with Rail America and the eventual formation of the ICF.

Funding for the rail upgrades was an issue throughout the 2011 federal election. I said at that time that we would not be successful in attracting federal money without an expression of support and partnership from the provincial government. Both MP John Duncan and I, in speaking with Premier Christy Clark, advised her independently and spontaneously as she called to congratulate us on our respective victories that we would need funding for the rail. The premier came through.

By that time we were pulling out of the recession but federal money was tight; we fought to secure that funding from the federal government.

None of us anticipated the improbable lengthy process to secure a Train Service Agreement (TSA) from VIA. But, I can assure you that agreement is in the final days of completion. I urge you to put aside disappointments, and please do not take upon yourselves actions that would scuttle the future of rail on Vancouver Island. If you do, you will carry that responsibility into history. Rail on Vancouver Island has a proud history; it brought us into confederation. We have come too far and worked too long to falter at the finish line.

The new TSA will secure another chapter of rail on Vancouver Island. It will be up to all stakeholders, communities and individuals to use the enhanced schedule and build on the opportunity to extend that life well into the future. I hope that most of you will agree and stand together to see that future have a chance.

James Lunney, MP


Nanaimo Yacht Club Easter Egg Hunt On Newcastle

 Nanaimo Yacht Club invites

to their Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Newcastle Island
Easter Sunday, April 20th. 2014

Easter Egg Hunt starts at 12:00 noon

Nanaimo Harbour Ferries (Maffeo Sutton Park)
is offering free rides -Children 12 and under all day.

Ferries starting 9:00 am. Please come over early

Bring your Easter baskets, picnic lunch and enjoy the day on the island and see our Easter Bunny. Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue will have a display to teach children safety on the water & view their vessel JC McGregor. Be sure to bring your camera to capture a picture of our Easter Bunny.

Complimentary Hot Drinks and Timbits.


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

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

This is one squirrley cat...............


Nanaimo's Tech Incubator - Start of Something Great

All good things start at SquareOne

Nanaimo's first co-working tech incubator providing start-up entrepreneurs with office space, expertise and resources at a price of merely $350/mo. all in! Open concept “square” desk-spaces provide a comfortable place to grow your business and get those creative juices flowing.

What is included with your 'square' desk space:
  • modern desk and ergonomic chair
  • under desk filing cabinet
  • unmetered wireless and hardline internet
  • VOIP phones and email (upon request)
  • business centre management including printing, scanning and fax
  • reception support and community manager
  • access to breakout meeting and board rooms
  • A/V equipment in meeting rooms
  • lounge area for chilling and informal meetings
  • shared kitchen with coffee, tea and snacks
  • space for bike, lockers for running gear etc,
Beyond being part of this affordable, cool and inspiring place shared with other entrepreneurs, Innovation Island and NEDC will be there every step of the way to help you grow your business. When you enter SquareOne you are able to access leading edge advisory services, product development programs and mentoring resources including an Executive-in- Residence.

To apply visit the SquareOne website telling them a little about yourself.


Another West Coast Moment

More than a mouthful ......... through the lens of Sheryl Falls.