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.


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Island Gas Prices - Long Weekend Coming?

Gas prices as of 8:00 am April 16

It must be a long weekend coming as there is no other logical reason for the sudden hump at the pumps, oopppps that should read jump at the pumps. Duncan is beginning to look like a place to consider moving to, lower taxes, lower house prices, pretty much all the shopping anemities of Nanaimo and always lower gas prices. The only problem with Duncan, is the fact it is in Duncan.

So, here's a big shout out to the Nanaimo Gas Cartel, the masters of the 'Hump at the Pump'.


Energy from waste proposal - not off the table
Final decision still up to proponents or Metro Vancouver?

Now that city council has moved to send a letter to Metro Vancouver saying we do not want an EFW plant located on properly zoned land in the city of Nanaimo it seems it is up to Metro Vancouver to remove the proposal for the Duke Point plant, or in fact up to the proponents to withdraw it. City council's letter does not automatically kill the proposal.

In an article in today's Daily News Spencer Anderson reports that the proponents are not withdrawing their proposal at this time, and a Metro Vancouver spokesman says they will not rule out the Duke Point pitch from the list of nine proponents vying to build a new facility. The Metro spokesman says it is up to the proponent to determine if they wish to proceed.

City Council simply inept or pandering for votes?
Either way they turned process on it's ear.......

The idea that Nanaimo could be seen as becoming Vancouver's dump would of course be a very hard sell for a fleet of highly skilled spin doctors.

However, if the proposed EFW facility is in fact the state of the art way of converting our waste into a fuel that can produce electricity and steam while providing many family supporting jobs and is a superior way of dealing with waste rather than a landfill ........ that is not quite as hard a sell.

However, given that this council caved to the noise of the clamoring mass, due process has been denied and at this point we still have no idea what the science says about the proposed EFW at Duke Point.

It is not difficult in Nanaimo to whip up a vocal minority when you ask them if we want to burn Vancouver's garbage. The answer to that question can be foretold with a 99.9% accuracy, after all, who would want that? Not me.

Could be answer to our own garbage woes

Nanaimo is looking at having to make some very expensive choices in the very near future as to what to do with our own waste when the existing landfill closes. A modern day energy from waste plant could provide the least costly, most environmentally friendly option to our own disposal issues. One which our Mayor said we may in fact consider in the future.

So why would we want to slam the door on what could be a win win for Nanaimo when it comes to our future disposal needs. Why would we not consider if there would be serious economic and environmental benefit to encouraging the EFW at Duke Point with the caveat we get very preferred tipping rates? Metro Van builds the plant on their dime and we get to save buckets of money by not having to build our own, or another landfill, sounds like it is worth at least looking into.

How is this Council decision seen?

This council unanimously voted the other night to tell Vancouver we have no interest in their proposal, our Mayor has been on television saying we will appeal to the province to see the facility isn't built.

They also told the rest of the corporate world that if you want to do business in Nanaimo regardless of whether your land is properly zoned and your project will meet all regulatory requirements, you must first get the approval of Nanaimo's NIMBY's and the Green Dreamers and Screamers if you want to proceed.


Nanaimo city council voted to postpone their decision regards sending a letter to Metro until a Regular Council Meeting to be held after the Metro Vancouver public consultation process is complete.

On Monday night, they threw process under the bus, as clearly the terms of their own motion have not been met. This means they have been badgered into making another decision with incomplete information (in this case none) and are perhaps taking Nanaimo taxpayers on another expensive ride. Shades of Colliery Dam?


Art Enhances China Steps - Nanaimo

Artwork of local artist Nadine Wiepning adds some much needed colour and focal point on China Steps in downtown Nanaimo. The piece occupies wall space immediately across from another downtown landmark 'The Thirsty Camel' where Ilan Goldenblatt and crew serve up delicious, fresh and healthy food daily.


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Technology incubator & co-working space - Nanaimo

Sneak peek of SquareOne downtown office
SquareOne to open on Victoria Cresent
Technology co-working launch-pad

The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation and Innovation Island announced the launch of SquareOne, the region’s first technology incubator and co-working space.

SquareOne provides office space, expertise, and resources to start-up entrepreneurs and other out-of-the-box thinkers. This new community asset will continue to build on the momentum in the region’s technology sector, creating an ecosystem that assists innovative entrepreneurs to grow.

“The Nanaimo region has a vibrant and growing start-up community,” said Sasha Angus, CEO of NEDC. “With an economic impact of $200 million per year, the region’s technology sector provides thousands of household sustaining jobs. We are very excited to be partnering with Innovation Island to continue growing the region’s start-up community and fostering new innovation and entrepreneurs.”

“Innovation Island is thrilled to be working in partnership with the NEDC to further develop the tech sector in the Nanaimo region. Supporting entrepreneurs to think big and connecting them to the resources they need to scale is what SquareOne is all about,”said Paris Gaudet, Executive Director of Innovation Island.

SquareOne will provide access to leading edge advisory services, product development programs, and mentoring resources including an Executive-In-Residence. In addition, workshops, seminars, and networking events will be held monthly to provide further access to expertise for the resident businesses to grow bigger, better, faster.

The SquareOne website should be online if you need more information about opening dates and how to apply to have your business considered for a space.


Another West Coast Moment

Are you lookin' at me? are ya? .............. through the lens of Sheryl Falls


Island Glass Art Show and Sale Nanaimo

SPRING Island Glass Art Show & Sale
Apr 19, 2014 11:00 am - 4:30 pm
Vancouver Island Convention Centre
Guest Artists:
D'dance Glass from Gabriola Island, BC and Art & Soul Glassworks from Campbell River, BC

Music by Calinda Massey & Paul Bezooyen

 For more information about Island Glass Art visit their website HERE.


Nanaimo Wild Foods Festival April 2014


Monday, 14 April 2014

Seaspan Withdraws WTE Proposal

City Council Tells Metro Vancouver WTE Not Welcome In Nanaimo

Wisely city council moved the matter of tabling a motion to send a letter to Vancouver opposing a WTE proposed for Duke Point to the beginning of the meeting with 22 delegates on the agenda wishing to speak.

Of the 22 delegates only 4 or 5 urged council to postpone the decision until next month, when Vancouver said they would be holding open meetings in Nanaimo.

Mr. John Lucas of Seaspan addressed council early, saying his company was no longer considering the WTE proposal for the company's property at Duke Point. At this point council could have called the question and voted on the matter, however, Mayor Ruttan entertained a few more opponents to have their say.

Council then voted on the motion to send the letter to Metro Vancouver, which they passed unanimously.

City Hall Press Release Ironic?

On the city website there is a news release related to the above motion. In supporting their decisions, city council often links their decisions to the Strategic Plan, which they have done in this case as follows:

Link to Strategic Plan: The City of Nanaimo supports efforts to obtain public input on topics of community interest.

It seems somewhat ironic, but not inconsistent with some of city hall logic that a motion which effectively shuts down any public input on a topic of community interest is claiming to be just the opposite.


Lunar Eclipse Seen From Nanaimo

Lunar Eclipse
Click Image For More Information About Lunar Eclipse
For information about when to watch the total lunar eclipse over Nanaimo tonight visit Mashable website HERE.


Another West Coast Moment

Red Winged Blackbird 'lily walker' ......... through the lens of Sheryl Falls


Easter Spring Fling Downtown Nanaimo 2014

The Easter Bunny, a potting station and much more .......

Easter Spring Fling
Diana Krall Plaza
April 19  •  9am to 2pm

Once again, downtown Nanaimo celebrates Easter with a flourish. Starting at 9am in Diana Krall Plaza join us for a pancake breakfast, kid’s crafts, face painting, bouncy castles, Twiggly Wiggly the Clown, Emergency Response Vehicles, airbrush tattoos and other activities as well as a visit from the Easter Bunny himself! Don’t miss the potting station in the Old City Quarter where kids can plant a seed to take home. Each child will receive a goody bag with treats and special offers from the downtown businesses.

Spot the Golden Egg

‘Spot the Golden Egg’ throughout the downtown is a scavenger hunt where kids will find the golden egg displayed in shop windows, fill out their golden egg passport and trade it in for a prize at Diana Krall Plaza or at the potting station in the Old City Quarter. Passports can be picked up in Diana Krall Plaza or in the Old City Quarter at the potting Station on Wesley Street outside West Coast Classic Floral Design.

Please note: Businesses will not be handing out candy this year.
FREE PARKING in the Bastion Street Parkade for the duration of the event.


Expanded Recycling Service Coming To Nanaimo

More materials accepted as part of new recycling program

A new program developed by Multi-Material BC (MMBC) is expanding residential recycling in Nanaimo and throughout the region with more than 10 new materials accepted at the curbside and others accepted at MMBC Drop-Off Depots starting May 19th.

The new recycling opportunities result from changes to BC’s Recycling Regulation affecting more than 1.5 million households province-wide. Producers and consumers of packaging and printed paper (PPP) will pay the cost of recycling these materials instead of local governments and taxpayers.

Packaging and printed paper recyclables include most of the materials already collected for curbside recycling. Materials added as of May 19, 2014 will include milk cartons, aseptic boxes (soup etc.), aerosol cans, and plastic garden pots and seedling trays.

Starting April 17, Canada Post will deliver the Spring 2014 Waste Line newsletter to all Nanaimo homes explaining the changes to garbage and recycling in Nanaimo.


Nanaimo Council April 14 - Incinerator - Hot Topic

You might want to bring some popcorn to this show............

Nanaimo City Council meetings are often as stimulating as watching paint dry or grass grow but tonight promises to be one of the more entertaining offerings of the year I suspect.

Last December you may recall Councillor George Anderson tried to slide in a motion that would have told Vancouver we don't want to burn their garbage before we had any information about the proposed energy from waste facility.

In one of their more lucid moments, Council opted to table Anderson's motion until the Metro Vancouver public consultation process is complete.

According to tonight's council agenda Councilor Brennan will be asking council to lift the tabled motion and vote on sending a letter to Vancouver saying we have no interest in an EFW facility at Duke Point.

The agenda item reads as follows:

“65513 - It was moved and seconded that Council table consideration of Councillor Anderson’s motion regarding Council’s non-support of a waste-to-energy facility in Nanaimo until a Regular Council Meeting to be held after the Metro Vancouver public consultation process is complete.”

Since this meeting last December there has been an organized effort to bring pressure to bear on council to send the letter to Vancouver clearly saying we do not want an energy from waste facility at Duke Point. While the group is well organized and vocal they can't tell you specifically what the proposed facility will actually mean in the way of economic or environmental impact, all they can tell you is that they don't want to burn garbage from Vancouver.

I have heard the question posed to gather signatures on a petition in which they basically ask people if they are opposed to Nanaimo burning Vancouver's garbage. Who wouldn't sign that petition? I would. If you ask people if Nanaimo could solve it's future garbage problems by using an EFW built by Vancouver instead of building one of our own, you might get a different answer.

Those opposed seem to demonstrate some interesting contradictions. For example, Councilor Anderson said he was opposed to the idea of burning Vancouver's waste, but might consider an incinerator to deal with our own waste. I have talked to some who are adamantly opposed to an EFW plant, but not based on concerns about emissions but rather seeing it as a threat to a zero waste policy they embrace. There seems to be the notion that an energy from waste plant would somehow see material that could be recycled diverted to the EFW plant.

Still not enough information and what is the hurry anyway?

The motion to table Anderson's motion was not to be considered until a Regular Council Meeting to be held AFTER the Metro Vancouver public consultation process is complete. To my knowledge that process is not complete and arguably the conditions of the motion have not been met, and therefore this whole process could be out of order.

Other than this is an election year, and there is a vocal minority writing council and marching with signs you really have to wonder what the urgency is to kill this proposal without any meaningful information?

The fact our own landfill will be full in 10 - 15 years and that we are either going to have to find another dump, or ship our waste someplace else or build our own energy from waste facility makes it seem short sighted to not at least know the facts before attempting to kill the current proposal.

Whatever happens tonight, it promises to be one of the more lively meetings of the year, as I suspect the gallery will be full of passionate NO Burner supporters complete with signs and banners.

This meeting might actually be better experienced at home watching on Shaw #4, curled up on the couch with some nice fresh popcorn.


Nanaimo Parks Reference Map

Nanaimo Parks Map
Quick reference map to Nanaimo Parks and Facilities

If you want location and other information about Nanaimo's parks and facilities you will find this Nanaimo Info map very helpful. You can access the map by clicking the above image which is also available in the right hand column on this page.

Over 600,000 users have found this a helpful guide to finding the locations of Nanaimo's many parks and recreation facilities.


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Nanaimo 2014 BC Summer Games Countdown

Minister Don McRae lights the torch. Photo Credit Dirk Heydemann

The official countdown to the 2014 BC Summer Games kicked off tonight with the Torchlighting Ceremony held at Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park.   In 97 days, as many as 3900 participants from across the province will meet in Nanaimo for four days of competition and celebration.

“This is an exciting night for Nanaimo,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “The BC Summer Games will bring significant economic benefits to the community – in the neighbourhood of $2.6 million and I know that Nanaimo will do a wonderful job as host city.”

Global Morning News anchor, Steve Darling, emceed the ceremony which was attended by dignitaries, organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and community supporters.  The Snuneymuxw Dance Group performed a welcome dance and local artists including the Wellington Gr. 11 Jazz Band, the Nanaimo Youth Choir and Vibrant Dance entertained the audience.  The official 2014 BC Summer Games theme song composed by J. Douglas Dodd and Nico Rhodes was performed by 17 year-old singer and songwriter, Mikaila Tombe.

The highlight of the evening was the arrival of the Games torch by bathtub in true Nanaimo fashion.  The torch was relayed by four local track and field athletes and 2012 BC Summer Games alumni, Josh Bailey, Jenaya Pynn, Jason Clair, and Alyssa Mouseau.  Comox Valley MLA, and Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, Don McRae, lit the torch on behalf of Minister Oakes.

Jeff Lott, President of the Nanaimo 2014 BC Summer Games said, “The countdown is on and it is time for everyone to ‘Get in the Games’ and be part of what will be an exciting event for Nanaimo.”

The Torchlighting Ceremony was presented by Nanaimo’s Country Grocer who has signed on as an official Friend of the Games.  Over 3200 volunteers will be needed, as well as support from local businesses. Go to to sign up now to help with Nanaimo's Summer Games.

The official BC Games torch is now located at Nanaimo Ice Centre and it features an LED “flame” which will remain lit through to the Games which run July 17-20. 


BC Ferries Easter 2014 Long Weekend Schedule Nanaimo to Vancouver