Sunday, July 02, 2017

CANADA DAY .................... SHACK ISLAND STYLE

Photo credit Sher Falls

You won't likely find a more impressive display of patriotism than some of the residents on Shack Island displayed to help celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

This Time I Really Really Really Mean It

Not sure exactly how I talked myself back into writing about the goings on in our fair city after enjoying four months away from the drama that is Nanaimo City politics.

The political scene and battle for the golden purse at city hall has always been interesting. That said, lately Nanaimo politics has become very mean-spirited and just downright nasty. It is hard to imagine that with a year and a half to go in this term the rift at city hall would still be an open, festering wound. A councillor actually being arrested and released with conditions for taking a run at a city manager. A mayor, asked by 7 of 8 councillors to resign, then being subject of an investigation involving the RCMP whose term will be remembered as being the most divisive, combative council in memory, if not history.

The sidelines and especially social media are rife with biased, bigoted and mean spirited folk who are expert at telling city hall what they are doing wrong while offering no positive input. Some critics are made up of councilor wannabes jockeying for position to try and regain control of the city hall purse.

I am sure that much of the criticism from all the new council watchers is fueled by those who don't like some of the tightening of the purse strings at city hall. Those used to feeding at the trough and suckling at the city teat are having fits trying to upset the current council and won't rest until they make conditions as untenable as possible.

The NDP - CUPE - Labour Council - City Councilor connection is one that among other things has resulted in the average Nanaimo taxpayer seeing over 80% of their property tax dollars doing nothing other than paying wages and benefits the average taxpayer can only dream about. Someone working for the city who does not qualify to be a labourer starts at $24.14/hr. plus 3 weeks vacation from the get-go and benefits to die for. In what universe is that sustainable? On the other side of the work force, there was a city hall manager who (according to official statements) wanted to leave the job early, and for some reason it was in his employment contract (written by whom?) that he was 'entitled' to over half a million dollars as a going away gift courtesy of the Nanaimo taxpayer. 

The next year and a half of Nanaimo politics is just going to get meaner and nastier and uglier as the blood sport continues to control the $200 million corporation, that is the City of Nanaimo. For that reason I have decided that it is impossible to pay attention to Nanaimo politics without "getting some on ya'" and no amount of scrubbing gets it off.

The problem we have with all levels of governance, whether it is in the regional, municipal, provincial, federal or global scene is rooted in the fact that we are a woefully inadequate people who choose from our numbers those to govern us, and seem surprised when we find that they too are incompetent. No longer seeking or acknowledging the need for the Divine in our lives, we are left to our own resources, with predictable outcome.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fuller's RDN Appointment The Right Choice

Fuller Clearly Has Voter Confidence

It should come as no surprise that in the continuing battle for city hall supremacy there is an effort to promote Councilor Brennan into the RDN seat vacated by Pratt's resignation.

That however flies in the face of RDN seats being appointed based on voter confidence as expressed at the ballot box on election day.

Past experience does not trump voter confidence as was demonstrated when George Anderson was appointed to the RDN based on ballot box count and not experience.

To the question of experience trumping votes, that is a spurious argument as experience does not prove voter confidence in the performance of duties. A more accurate measure of evaluating performance was demonstrated at the ballot box which saw Councilor Brennan fall from 7885 votes in 2011 to 6547 votes in 2014. 

I suspect there will be another spurious argument put forward by some suggesting this is a gender biased issued pointing to accusations of misogyny on city council. Such charges are likely directed at Councilor Kipp for his outburst directed at ex-councilor Pratt, although I suspect a case for the same charge could be levelled at the Mayor for his treatment of the city manager.

Ahhh Nanaimo politics........ can't imagine why I want to have a long hot shower.  


Friday, April 21, 2017

86 Year Old LANCE PARKER Is Missing

Lance Parker 


The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public's assistance in locating a missing elderly male who left his home around noon today and has not been seen since. His family is extremely worried for his well-being as he has significant medical issues and requires daily medication.

86 year old Lance Parker resides on St George St in central Nanaimo and left home at approximately 12:30 pm today. When he did not return to his home by 8 pm his family contacted the Nanaimo RCMP and reported him as missing. Nanaimo Search and Rescue have been called out and are currently conducting and urban search throughout central Nanaimo. PARKER does not have access to a vehicle and had no money with him.

Lance PARKER is described as follows:
  • white male, 5 ft. 9, 175 pound
  • silver coloured hair, glasses

  • dark coloured shirt
  • blue and green coloured flannel hoodie
  • blue jeans and slippers 

If anyone sees Lance PARKER call 911 immediately or the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.


Statement On State Of Nanaimo Politics

Nanaimo Polictics
Just Makes Ya'
Wanna Hurl.....

Just plain nasty and mean-spirited is about the only way to describe the Nanaimo political scene these days.

From the get-go of this council's term the rift the Mayor put between himself and the balance of council has set the tone we see still playing out today. Beginning with his complete turn around on the Colliery Dams, to the refusal to support council resolutions, to working more closely with the city manager than his own council, the blame for the divisive, combative nature of city council politics rests firmly on his shoulders. What other mayor has had 7 out of 8 councilors sign a letter asking him to resign? What other mayor was not trusted to refrain from running up massive expenses on his expense account?

Fast forward to the unexpected departure of City Manager Swabey and his replacement being hired by actually going through a job competition. It is noteworthy that Mr. Berry, Mr. Kenning and Mr. Swabey were never required to compete for the position of city manager and were basically 'appointed' by the outgoing manager.

The hiring of the current city manager was met with vicious opposition from the get-go with Councillor Brennan using back channels to immediately call the new managers hiring into question. Why she and McKay were so fiercely opposed to this hire is subject to nothing but speculation on my part but those reasons have been the source of an open, festering division at city hall that continues to this day.

Purely my own opinion here (I think I am entitled to one) but I can't help thinking that there was someone else in the queue that other people wanted hired in place of Ms Samra who may have had some history with Brennan when she worked there before. Perhaps someone to continue the Berry/Kenning/Swabey lineage.

Whatever the reason the running gun battle that has ensued to this day has proven neither healthy nor helpful in the running of the city's affairs. Rather than extending a hand of co-operation, opponents of the majority of council and the current city manager never miss the opportunity to heap criticism and condemnation on them at every opportunity.

During the recent event centre exercise which was resoundingly rejected by the electorate political turf was being carved out by those who wish to get some name recognition in the run up to the next civic election.

Social Media and Online Snipers

On some happy sounding social media pages with names like a bitter nanaimo you will find no end of mean-spirited commentary from folk bent on making life miserable for the administration at city hall and the majority of this council. With flip references to the 'fab five' no shortage of criticism is hurled at the majority of council given every opportunity.

Somehow, this faction on the Nanaimo political scene just can't seem to get over the fact that the majority of council isn't doing what they want, and therefore the claim is made that the 'five' have hi-jacked council. How absurd is that !! 

As to nastiness on the social media circuit, perhaps the sleaziest example of that came when one of the usual online snipers tried to suggest that a person who raised funds to support Gord Fuller when he had his heart attack, was somehow setting in place a favour to be called when the current city manager was being considered for the position. How absurd is that??

Criticism was also thrown at the Hometown Hockey event by drawing the comparison that some communities hosted the same event for $50,000 while our tab greatly exceeded that mark. What the sniper didn't mention is this was more than a case of the circus rolling into town. It was an event with an outdoor skating rink, floor hockey rink and a very popular zipline. It was a serious attempt to put something together in Nanaimo that would be more than the two bit efforts that usually pass for an 'event' in Nanaimo. For all the hollering about trying to do something to make Nanaimo stand out, when someone actually does attempt to do that, there is no end of the crap and abuse they have to endure.

Referendum being claimed vote of no confidence

Headed by political wannabes the No Vote committee is trying to claim the recent referendum to borrow $80 million gives them some serious political capital with which to harangue the current city council.

Trying to capitalize on the referendum result local politico Don Bonner has set up another social media page by the name 'my nanaimo' which I presume he hopes will give him licence to be spokesman for this group. This is possibly the formation of an attempt to win a council seat, either in the upcoming by-election or the next general election. Some might remember it was Bonner who first published the information coming from D.Brennan about the Samra hiring. Some observers think that Mr. Bonner may be the chief cheerleader on the Brennan Bandwagon.

This was not a vote of no confidence, it was a vote saying NO to an $80 million loan.  While I certainly did not support the loan I could appreciate the well intentioned motives behind trying to create a venue in Nanaimo that could be of benefit for decades to come. That said, due to pressures brought by the WHL to make a hurried decision, the project was pretty much doomed from the get-go.

Opponents were able to label the project as just an ice rink for rich WHL owners. A label the proponents had a hard time shaking, if they ever really did. There were too many legitimate objections to this project from the get-go but given more time the objections could have been overcome. Location, cost and funding were all credible objections to the project the way it was packaged and really made a soft target for those wanting to score political points by leading the charge to scuttle the project.

While I did not support the project, the way it was packaged and if the funding of the long term debt repayment had been more clearly laid out they might have gotten off the ground. Of course location may still have been the Achilles heal of that project anyway.

All that said, this was not some malicious misuse of taxpayer funds as the opponents would have you believe. It was a legitimate attempt to do something that was believed would benefit Nanaimo for years and years to come. The benefit would not simply have been WHL and their fans, but the facility would have had much greater benefit if it succeeded as planned.

So why all the mean, nasty and just downright ugly that keeps rearing it's head in Nanaimo??

You tell me, it is not new and this city has been polarized from the beginning to this day and this is just another glaring example of why Nanaimo is likely to always take a step forward followed by two back.

Jim Taylor


Invasive Plant Removal & Disposal In Nanaimo

May is Invasive Plant Awareness Month in the City of Nanaimo. This is the fifth year the City has held this special month to raise awareness of invasive plants and their effects on our parks and natural areas. 

The month-long event will feature Broombusters and other invasive plant removal work parties, including a BBQ at Pipers Lagoon Friday, May 5th. Residents can drop off invasive plants they have removed from their property to the Drop Zone at Bowen Park on April 23 and May 27 (11am - 3pm). 

If you are able to participate in any of the work parties throughout Invasive Plant Month please register through the City website or by calling 250-756-5200.

Thank you for helping us maintain our natural areas and restoring the integrity of our native ecology.

Drop off your invasive plants - April 23 & May 27

Residents can drop off invasive plants they have removed from their property at the Drop Zone located at the Wall Street entrance of Bowen Park from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday, April 23 and Saturday, May 27.

Improper disposal of garden waste in our parks increases the likelihood of spreading invasive plants. Residents can dispose of garden waste at the regional landfill (1105 Cedar Road) 
compost it or bring to the two drop zones at Bowen Park, April 23 and May 27 from 11am-3pm.


Nanaimo Weekend Weather

Come on ---- give us a break already............


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Questions For All-Candidates Meeting Wanted


The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce is presenting the Nanaimo riding All Candidates Debate and Independent Forum on Tuesday, April 25, 6 pm at Beban Park Social Centre. Candidates expected to be on hand include BC NDP’s Leonard Krog, BC Liberal Party’s Paris Gaudet, and BC Green Party candidate Kathleen Harris and, now, the BC Libertarian Party’s Bill Walker.

“We’re pleased to welcome, as our partners this year, Vancouver Island University, Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and the Canadian Home Builders Association,” stated Kim Smythe, Chamber CEO. VIREB has just launched its candidate information website for the north Island at

Questions are invited in advance through the Chamber’s email address Questions will also be taken from the floor and vetted through scrutineers. The event will be video-taped by Shaw and replayed up until the election on Channel 4.

“The Chamber’s role as a non-partisan community organization is to focus on getting out the vote by promoting top-of-mind awareness around the issues, communicating updates on local information events, and organizing the widely-anticipated and independent All Candidates Meeting”.

The event is open to all community members with candidate information booths from 6 until 7 pm when the debate begins. Dr. Carrie Chassels, VIU’s appointee to the Chamber, will moderate. 


Brandon Tyler Woody Charged With Murder

Charges laid 
in shooting death

Charges have been laid in connection with the shooting in Nanaimo on Wednesday April 19th that claimed the life of a 34 year old male.

30 year old Brandon Tyler WOODY of Victoria has been charged with one count of First Degree Murder and one count of Possessing a Firearm while prohibited to do so.

WOODY has been remanded in custody until Tuesday May 2nd at which time he will appear in Nanaimo Provincial court.


Councillor Gordon Fuller Appointed To RDN

Municipal Director Appointment 
to the Regional District of Nanaimo Board

With the resignation of Wendy Pratt from Nanaimo City Council on April 7, 2016, and the associated vacancy her resignation created on the Board of Directors for the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), the City wishes to inform the public that Councillor Gordon Fuller – in the capacity of an appointed alternate director – has been automatically appointed as Ms. Pratt’s replacement until such time as Council formally appoints a new director. 

This decision is pursuant to Section 200 of the Local Government Act which states that if the seat of a municipal director becomes vacant through resignation, the alternate director becomes the municipal director until a new director is appointed. New appointments to the RDN Board of Directors occur annually, typically between the months of October through early November. Council will be considering this timing given the pending by-election. 

The RDN was notified of this development on April 12, 2017.


Nanaimo City Workers Wage Reality Check

I can hear the pro-union howls now "we are not engaging in a race to the bottom" will be the clarion call, whenever they are confronted with a wage reality check.

Not only are Nanaimo CUPE workers the highest paid union in Nanaimo, they are also amongst the most demanding when it comes to working 'conditions'. The recent move to automated garbage trucks at a cost of at least $10 million has zero benefits for Nanaimo taxpayers, and only questionable benefit to those employed in the garbage collection department, except for the fact it pretty much takes the 'work' out of the workplace. Driving a truck around for a few hours each day, playing with a joystick should be less financially rewarding than what is being paid for real work they are presently engaged in.

The city website posted CUPE agreement is the one which expired in Dec. 2013, so why we are four months into 2017 with this outdated agreement is another one of those mysteries. That said, the contract is available to view and the hourly rate for a Level 1 worker (which does not rise to the standard of labourer) starts at $24.14/hr. with 3 weeks vacation out of the gate.

In what universe does a job not rising to the standard of being a labourer warrant $24.14/hr.? In the world of Nanaimo city hall it does, thanks to the non-negotiated contracts signed by city councils with the approval of city managers.

City exempt staff will get a raise that is in lock-step with whatever is 'negotiated' for CUPE, so who, you may ask is actually bargaining on behalf of the taxpayer picking up the tab for these out-of-control wages?

CUPE Benefits Meager Compared With Senior Managers

Back in 2009 former city manager Mr. Jerry Berry demonstrated another example of how Nanaimo tax dollars are spent courtesy of city hall 'workers'.

You may recall Mr. Berry (according to press statements) simply wanted to leave early for undisclosed reasons and as a result of an employment contract (written by himself?) he was entitled to nearly $500,000 as a severance package and thank you for working at the highest paid job at city hall. If memory serves Mr. Berry's salary was in the quarter of a million dollar range.

On this blog back in 2010 I posed questions that have never been answered with any satisfaction and likely never will be. That can be seen HERE.

No Council Has The Nerve To Address Wages

It would not be expected that members of council who have accepted large sums of money from unions to actually engage in serious contract negotiations with CUPE. When you combine that with the fact that exempt staffers wage increases are tied to whatever increases CUPE 'negotiates' it is little wonder Nanaimo taxpayers are funding the richest pay packets in the city.

With over 80% of every tax dollar paying nothing but wages and benefits, it is little wonder we apparently did not have enough money left to pay for this past winter and it's effects on our roads.

It is noteworthy that in a recent financial report it lists expenses that have increased and decreased in the operation of the city by different items. The net effect is a shortfall of income of $1.4 million. Among a list of other items is the fact that the cost of wages and new positions accounts for an increase in spending of $1.3 million. You will note that attention is not drawn to this fact, but rather that we have some potholes that need fixing.

Given wage contracts that have been previously 'negotiated' the Nanaimo taxpayer is looking at an annual property tax increase of 1% before anything else happens, simply to cover the cost of wages at city hall.

Will this out of control cost centre ever be addressed by city councilors, especially those with strong union backing? Do pigs fly?


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Time To Take Union Donations Out Of Local Politics

One NDP policy easy to agree with

Taking big money out of politics

A BC NDP government will dedicate its first piece of legislation to taking big money out of politics.
We will ban corporate and union donations and set limits on individual contributions.

The above comes directly from the official NDP platform website. Note the connection being made between taking big money out of the process and making political parties more responsive to the average citizen. Clearly making the point that big money has big influence on political decisions on the provincial scene.

The Same Principle Should Apply To Nanaimo Politics

When we have candidates for city council receiving up to 71% of their total funding from unions a fair question would be, 'who are they responsive to?'. When you compare the contracts that CUPE 401 has 'negotiated' with the city of Nanaimo compared with other unions in this very same city, you have to question who the councillors have been responsive and responsible to.

D. Brennan got $4250 or 71% of her funding from unions
B. Bestwick  got $5250 or 63% of his funding from unions
B. Yoachim got $6750 or 37% of his funding from unions
W. Pratt got $500 of her funding from unions.

If you check donation disclosure documents of other members of past council's it is undeniable the influence union money can have at city hall.

The NDP (typically very union friendly) admit that banning union donations will make political parties more responsive to the electorate. The same principle should be applied to municipal government politics.

There should also be open disclosure by all candidates as to who is funding them BEFORE election day, so when a ballot is being cast, you know who you are voting for.


Rotary Club Used Book Sale April 2017


Free Nanaimo Youth Lounge - NAC


Early Morning Shooting Leaves One Dead

South Nanaimo Shooting
leaves one dead

One person is deceased after an early morning shooting in south Nanaimo. An adult male has been taken into custody in relation to the incident.

The Nanaimo RCMP is continuing with the investigation and more details will be released when available.

Shooting Update 

The Nanaimo RCMP is continuing with their investigation into a shooting which left one person dead. At approximately 3:20 am on Wednesday April 19, 2017 officers responded to a report of shots fired at the Howard Johnson's Hotel, located at 1 Terminal Ave, Nanaimo.

When officers arrived they found one person deceased in the lobby of the hotel from apparent gun shots. Approximately one hour later a vehicle was stopped by North Cowichan Duncan RCMP officers and one male was taken into custody without incident. 

The Nanaimo RCMP Serious Crime Unit assisted by RCMP Forensics and Plain clothes Units are continuing with their investigation. "At this time, this appears to be a targeted shooting and investigators do not believe there is any risk to the public", said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

The BC Coroners Service has been advised and the investigation is continuing. If anyone has information on this shooting, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477