Sunday, September 30, 2012

Higher Water Levels On The Nanaimo River

Public Advisory: Increased flows on Nanaimo River

The public should use extra caution when using the Nanaimo River for recreation next week, due to increased water flows.

Starting on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, Harmac Pacific and the City of Nanaimo will be releasing more water from two reservoirs to improve fish access through the rapids into the Nanaimo Lakes spawning areas.

Anyone using the river especially boaters and swimmers should be aware of the increased water flows and use extra caution. Increased flows can combine with storms to create strong currents and undertows. The higher water levels are also expected to raise water levels at the Highway 19 bridge later in the week by about 0.3 metres (one foot). The higher water levels may last for two to three days.

Harmac Pacific will be releasing water from its Fourth Lake reservoir, increasing flows from 2.83 to 7.07 cubic metres per second (100 to 250 cubic feet per second) starting Monday, Oct. 1. The City of Nanaimo will be releasing water from its Jump Lake reservoir, increasing flows from 1.00 to approximately 6.80 cubic metres per second (35 to 240 cubic feet per second) starting Wednesday, Oct. 3. 

Water release dates vary each year, depending on the number of fish entering the river and river flows resulting from rain. Present river flows are slightly below average for this time of year. Nanaimo Hatchery staff are constantly monitoring fish movements in the river by conducting fish-count swims.

These fall pulse releases of water have been taking place for more than 20 years and are the result of an agreement between several agencies, including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the City of Nanaimo and the Snuneymuxw First Nation, as well as Nanaimo Forest Products, which operates Harmac Pacific. 


Toastmasters Host Humourous Speech Contest

The Woodgrove Toastmasters, is hosting an area Humorous Speech Contest on Mon. Oct. 1 at 7:00 pm at Oliver Woods Community Centre, Nanaimo, BC.

You will be able to watch the area's top humorous speakers give a 5 to 7 minute talk on a topic of their choosing. We also have a Table Topics contest. The contestants have already been chosen so this is a spectator event.

Cost is $5 which includes snacks and door prizes. You will be entertained. Bring a friend and enjoy! I would love to see you there!


Secure Your Car or Face $81 Fine

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

Leaving Car Unlocked or Windows Down Means $81 Fine


BC Economic Snapshot Sept. 29, 2012

Retailers Still Face Challenges

VANCOUVER, BC, Sep 29, 2012/ Troy Media/ – Consumer spending on retail products in B.C. gained in July, partially reversing the sharp drop off observed in June. Total sales rose 0.7 per cent to a seasonally-adjusted $5.13 billion in July.

While activity was up 2.8 per cent from same month 2011, retailers have struggled this year. Estimated provincial sales volume in both current- and constant-dollar terms has generally moved sideways through the first half. A weaker price environment pushed current-dollar volumes slightly lower since the second quarter.

General economic uncertainty, tempered consumer confidence, high debt loads and weak housing markets have likely kept buyers from opening up their wallets. Meanwhile, weak population growth has limited expansion of the consumer pool. More recently, changes to duty-free allowances have also made cross-border shopping to the U.S. more compelling, which is expected to siphon off some activity from the local shops going forward.

While the sales trend has been flat, year-to-date retail volume was still up 4.2 per cent from same-period 2011, led by higher sales in Metro Vancouver (6.2 per cent).

Retail sectors recording the strongest gains were recorded by motor vehicles and parts (9 per cent) dealers and clothing retailers (18 per cent) with growth in the latter driven in part by higher prices. Annual retail growth is expected to narrow through the end of 2012.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Downtown Landmark Disappears...

A familiar if not popular downtown landmark disappeared this weekend as the Young Professionals of Nanaimo and an army of volunteers descended on the garish purple edifice that has graced the corner of Commercial St. and Terminal Ave. for as long as I can remember.

I can't honestly say how long the building has sported the color made famous by a television dinosaur but I can't say I remember any other color either. When I first moved hear in 1970 this corner was home to a young up and coming businessman known as Willing Wayne the Discounter and from this location, Wayne supplied furnishings and such for many a Nanaimo household.

In more recent times the site had been occupied by A&B Sound who not unlike Barney seemed to loose favour with the changing times.

The building has sat vacant for quite sometime in spite of the fact it seems to occupy some pretty prime Nanaimo real estate, sandwiched between the $75 million convention centre and the $12 million city hall annex. It could be the real value of this location, is not the building but rather the dirt upon which it sits.

In any case you can no longer give directions to strangers by telling them to go to the 'Barney Building' and hang a left, or right, depending on where you are sending them.

(Maybe some enterprising artists will now grace this building with a first class mural for the time being)


Cougar Sighting Has Parents On Edge

Cougar Sightings In North Nanaimo

There have been several cougar sightings this past week in the north Nanaimo area. The area around Dover Road and Dickenson Road is where the most recent sightings have occured.

There were reports of seeing the big cat at May Bennett Pioneer Park and on the McGirr Elementary school grounds.

If you should encounter a cougar avoid eye contact and back away slowly from a cougar, then call 1-877-952-7277 to report your encounter.

For more detailed information visit the government website page 'Safety Guide To Cougars'.


Another Proud Gandpa' Moment

As I have said before one of the best things about publishing your own blog, is the opportunity to haul out the family pictures before a captive audience.

This is the latest edition to the Granddaughter photos taken a few weeks ago during a visit to number one son and his family to celebrate Amelia's third birthday.

Third birthday already ........ seems like only yesterday I was posting the picture taken the day she was born. Time sure flies when you are having fun!!!


Nanaimo Recognized As Business Friendly

Nanaimo Supports Small Business

The BC Small Business Roundtable has selected Nanaimo as one of six “small business friendly” communities in the province. The award recognizes local policies, projects and programs that support small business as judged by a panel of small leaders from across the province that represent regions, industries and associations.

“The City of Nanaimo is committed to making it easier for small businesses to operate,” said John Ruttan, Mayor of Nanaimo.  “Today’s announcement is reassuring evidence we are on the right track as a community in terms of creating bylaws and processes that allow small business owners to get things done.”

“This award really recognizes the important role that small business plays in our economic prosperity,” said Sasha Angus, CEO of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation. “Fostering the ongoing success of local businesses means more household sustaining jobs for our residents and an even stronger quality of life in our community.”

Highlighted in the City’s submission were efforts to build a strong business environment through streamlining city processes and investments in economic development. The City’s support of the NEDC, Downtown Business Association and incorporation of the Nanaimo Chamber’s “Successful Cities” initiative in the new strategic plan were amongst a number of other efforts that helped garner the award.

“The Chamber congratulates the City of Nanaimo for being selected as one of six communities to receive this award,” said Susan Allen, CEO of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.  “We recognize that there is still much work to be done and will continue to collaborate with the city to enhance and support the success of small businesses here in Nanaimo.”


Lantzville & Cedar Farmers' Markets Sept.30, 2012

 Lantzville Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 27 - Oct. 2012)
Located in the parking lot of St. Philips Church, 7113 Lantzville Road this new market will be open from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm on Sundays from May 27th through to October.
The new market promises to be a meeting place for friends and neighbours giving access to healthy, local food.
For information contact

Cedar Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 13 - Oct. 28, 2012)

Take a Sunday drive out into the country, park in the fields of the Crow and Gate Neighbourhood Pub, feel grassy field below your feet and talk with the farmer that grows your food.

Open from May 13 to October 28, 2012 Sun 10:00am to 2:00pm.  Field of the Crow and Gate Pub, 2313 Yellowpoint Road, Nanaimo, B.C.

For more information visit their website at or call 250-668-5783


Friday, September 28, 2012

Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

Can You Say: "Accident just waiting to happen"

OK maybe this one makes ya' cringe more than smile.


Dix Surprises His Finance Critic

 Dix Would Repeal 
Balanced Budget Legislation

In this Times Colonist report NDP leader Adrian Dix stated his party would repeal the balanced budget legislation if they formed government next election.

The revelation which came during a media scrum after his address to the UBCM convention came as a surprise to MLA Bruce Ralsont who is the party finance critic who commented "I was not aware of that."


Bestwicks' First Game In Nanaimo As Grizzlies Head

September 28th 7:00 pm
Frank Crane Arena

There should be an interesting dynamic tonight at Frank Crane Arena as longtime Clippers coach, Bill Bestwick comes to town as head of the Victoria Grizzlies a fierce rival of Nanaimo.

Make no mistake, a win for the Grizzlies would be twice as sweet given the history of Bestwick and the new Clippers management who kicked him under the bus two seasons ago.


Things To Do In Nanaimo This Weekend

 Lots To Do In Nanaimo This Weekend

Saturday Sept. 29, 2012

Friends of Morden Mine Reception at the Nanaimo Museum 1:30 pm.
Vancouver Island Military Museum opens 10:00 am 100 Camerson Street, downtown Nanaimo.
Sports Day in Canada at Oliver Woods Communtiy Centre 11:30 am - 3:30 pm.

Sunday Sept. 30, 2012

Nanaimo's Arte de Carnavale in Diana Krall Plaza from 11:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
Nanaimo Rivers Day Bowen Park 11:00 am - 4:00 pm.
FREE Skating at Nanaimo Ice Centre from 3:00 - 5:00 pm Everyone Welcome!
Cruise Ship the Sapphire Princess will be the last ship of the season to visit.

For more information about a specific event simply click on the event shown in bold..


Nanaimo City Council Meeting Oct.1, 2012

Nanaimo City Council Meeting
Monday, October 1, 2012
7:00 PM Shaw Auditorium
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

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 week's Council Meeting Agenda here - - -  Agenda .

 Some Council Decisions You Might Want To Think About

 Council decided to spend $170,000 on an electric Zamboni, when a propane fueled one costs $80,000 and does the same job.

Council decided to spend thousands of dollars to implement a policy of banning the sale of bottled water at civic facilities.

Council decided to add another $700,000 to the $844,000,000 financial plan to pay for a communications person (spin doctor), do you think that is a good use of YOUR tax dollar??

Last Year They Decided to Spend $16,000,000.00 On A New Staff Office. An Amount Equal To YOUR Tax Increase for 5 Years!

At the same time they are building new offices for staff, they are ignoring a $12,000,000 a year funding shortfall for water, sewer and roads, which was identified in a staff report in Nov. 2010!

Attending in person is the best way to see your business being taken care of, second best is watching on Shaw Cable from the comfort of your easy chair, it is also available live online using this link, and last but not least is reading what the local press says went on.


Sports Day At Oliver Woods Centre

Sports Day in Canada moves Nanaimo residents
The City of Nanaimo takes part in third annual Sports Day in Canada

To mark this year’s Sports Day in Canada, a national celebration of sport, from grassroots to high‐performance levels, the City of Nanaimo is hosting a “try it” sports day at Oliver Woods Community Centre on Saturday September 29, 2012 from 11:30am-3:30pm.

“Sport can be a powerful and positive influence in our communities,” says Kelly Murumets, President and CEO of ParticipACTION, the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Nanaimo. “Sports Day in Nanaimo is a great opportunity for families and kids of all ages to celebrate their favourite sport or try their hand at something new – it’s all part of finding fun, easy ways to live a healthier, more active lifestyle.”

“The City of Nanaimo believes in the power of sport and the positive benefits it has on people of all ages.  We believe that everyone has to right to play and live an exciting, healthy and active lifestyle.”  Says Damon Johnston, Parks, Recreation and Culture Coordinator.

Join us at Oliver Woods Community Centre for a free community event to celebrate sports in Nanaimo.  The event features a variety of different sports for all ages.  The schedule of events for the day is as follows;11:30am-12:30pm parent and tot (2-5 years) multisport, 12:30-1:30pm children (6-12 years) multisport, 1:30-2:30pm, youth (13-18 years) floor hockey,1:30-2:30pm family badminton, 2:30-3:30 family pickleball (instruction provided by Nanaimo Pickleball), 2:30-3:30 seniors (55+) badminton clinic (Instruction provided by Helen Binns).   

About Sports Day in Canada

Sports Day in Canada caps off a week of more than a thousand local events and activities, such as community-wide festivals, try-it days, open houses, games, competitions, meet-and-greets, tournaments, fun runs, spectator events and pep rallies, and includes a special television

broadcast on CBC Sports. Sports Day in Canada is presented by CBC Sports, ParticipACTION and True Sport, working with national sporting organizations and their networks of coaches, athletes and enthusiasts across the country. Sports Day in Canada is generously supported by Sport Canada, Subway Restaurant, New Balance Canada and B.C.’s Ministry of Health. For more information about Sports Day in Canada, please visit:


Free Sunday Skating Nanaimo Ice Centre

Free Skating Every Sunday 3:00 - 5:00 pm
Nanaimo Ice Centre Until March 17, 2013

Thanks to a joint sponsorship by the Nanaimo Lions Club and Save-On Foods everyone is welcome to skate free of charge every Sunday from 3:00 - 5:00 pm from now up to and including March 17, 2013.

The City of Nanaimo is also making available skates and helmets free of charge so there are no financial barriers stopping anyone from enjoying this fun and healthy family activity. This program is open to people of all ages and the only qualification is to show up at the Nanaimo Ice Centre any Sunday from 3:00 - 5:00 pm.

Since forming in 1946, the Nanaimo Lions Club has made significant contributions to the quality of life in Nanaimo. The group is responsible for the creation of a number community amenities and events; the Nanaimo Lions Pavilion in Maffeo-Sutton Park, the Lions Great Bridge - the pedestrian walking bridge spanning the mouth of the Millstone River, the Annual Christmas Parade, the Annual Empire Day Parade, and the list goes on. Continuing this tradition, the Nanaimo Lions Club, whose motto is WE SERVE is joining forces with Save-On Foods to offer families an opportunity for free family fun.

Save-On-Foods has been a local company in Nanaimo since 1918. The company has supported numerous community events such as, non profit charity's, schools, Loaves & Fishes Food Bank, Salvation Army

For more information you can visit the city website at or call 250-756-5200.


Rivers Day In Nanaimo Sunday Sept. 30, 2012

Click Image To Enlarge


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nanaimo Harbour Changes Coming Like It Or Not

Will The 'Flavour' Of Our Harbour Be Forever Changed?

The deal between the Port Authority headed by Mr. Dumas and a private operator is pretty much a done deal, and while the NPA will listen to concerns and try to accommodate there is no doubt the deal will be proceeding and our harbour will be changed forever. Whether history will remember that change as a positive or a negative, only time will tell.

Personally, I find strolling along the docks as they are presently set out and looking at the different working boats, smaller pleasure craft and floating restaurants a most pleasant way to spend some time. I don't see myself taking the same pleasure from looking at a flotilla of high end yachts that pretty much all look the same.

A stroll along the waterfront yesterday put the comparison into sharp focus captured in the above photo. On the left is one huge yacht which dominates the docks and the skyline and right next to them are several 'working' boats and in the foreground several small watercraft probably owned by 'regular' working folk.

I would far sooner enjoy the vista presented by the many smaller working boats and small pleasure craft as opposed to seeing a half dozen of the high-end yachts similar to the one dominating the space to the left of the above photo.

Make no mistake, the Nanaimo Port Authority is it's own little kingdom which is not subject to public opinion or political pressure. The deal which was presented to the Port Authority by the private operator can not be turned around, it may only be modified to some degree, but control over moorage rates etc. will only be dictated by market pressures, and if enough people with enough money need a place to park their yachts, they will be able to park them in Nanaimo.

You might be forgiven for wondering just exactly what the Nanaimo Port Authority is going to be doing in the not too distant future. They are overseeing a cruise ship terminal which has only a handful of customers all year long, and now they will not have to even manage the docks and associated traffic of the inner harbour. Additionaly it was not that long ago the NPA announced a deal with DP World of Vancouver to operate the cargo terminals in Nanaimo. Does that mean we can look for some staffing reductions at the Port Authority?


Nanaimo Weather Forecast Still Promising


Downtown Nanaimo Farmers' Market Sept. 28, 2012

 Nanaimo & Area Farmers' Markets

Nanaimo Downtown Farmers' Market
Open Friday ( May 11 - Oct. 5, 2012)

We are proud to say that we believe our market is one of the prettiest on the island. We have a large base of drop in vendors which keep our market ever changing. We enjoy watching the eagles fly overhead, the boats coming and going and the planes taking off every Friday. Our vendors always have a smile for our visitors. Open from First Friday in May to Friday before Thanksgiving.

Also open for all cruise ship dates Fri 10:00am to 2:00pm.

90 Front Street, Nanaimo. On Pioneer Waterfront Plaza  For more information visit their website at or call 250-754-1998.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Afffordable Housing For Nanaimo Youth

 New housing for employed youth in Nanaimo

Youth aged 17-30 in Nanaimo will soon have access to new affordable housing, thanks to an accepted offer for the Nanaimo Youth Services Association to purchase a historic rooming house at 545 Haliburton St.

The society will purchase and extensively renovate the building, formerly known as the Rowe Residence, to provide 14 to 16 apartments for employed youth. An additional apartment will be designated for an on-site resident manager to provide support to the residents.

Many of the youth will have completed the Nanaimo Youth Services Association’s BladeRunner program – a youth employment training program which provides employment and skills to out-of-school and unemployed youth. This new housing will provide an affordable option as they progress into their working lives.

The government of B.C. will provide construction financing of $302,000. The City of Nanaimo will provide a $75,000 grant from their Housing Legacy Fund for the project.

Youth and staff from the Nanaimo Youth Services Association, along with partners from the local Rotary Club, will be hosting a clean-up of the site on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Members of the community are welcome to drop by during this time to meet the society.


Military Museum Opens Saturday

Vancouver Island Military Museum
Opens Saturday Sept. 29, 2012
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Vancouver Island Military Museum will be opening it's doors in it's new home this coming Saturday at 10:00 am.

The regular hours of the museum are Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.


Generation Facing Declining Living Standard

 VANCOUVER, BC, Sep 25, 2012/ Troy Media/ – Since 1976, Canada’s economy has more than doubled in size but many of us aren’t feeling better off.

That’s why the Occupy slogan “We are the 99 per cent” captured so much attention a year ago. It reminds us that the richest one per cent of Canadians make 14 per cent of total income, and absorbed more than a third of income growth in the last 15 years. It also helps to explain where all the additional wealth went.

But the slogan is incomplete. The change in prosperity is also generational.

On average, Canadians who got in the housing market by the mid 70s (newly retired, or retiring soon) have been big winners. Compared to 55 to 64 year olds in the mid-70s, they enjoy wealth that has risen by around 200 per cent, in large part because housing values have increased dramatically over their adult lives.

But what’s been good for a generation heading into retirement has been bad for their kids and grandkids. The typical 25 to 34 year old working full-time today must save for 10 years to put away a 20 per cent down payment for housing in an average school district. That’s twice as long as was required for the typical young worker a generation ago, even though today’s down payment often purchases a smaller yard, a Condo, or requires a longer commute.

Young people’s wages are losing ground, despite the fact they have more post-secondary education than previous generations. After adjusting for inflation, two young people still bring home little more than what one breadwinner often did in the mid-1970s.

The result?

Generations under age 45 are squeezed: squeezed for time at home and squeezed for money because they pay higher student debts and housing prices with lower wages. And when they choose to have kids, they are squeezed for child care services, which remain in short supply, and often cost the equivalent of another mortgage.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Last Two Cruise Ships Of 2012 Visit Nanaimo

Celebrity Century
Visiting Wed. Sept. 26, 2012 7:00am - 5:00pm

The Celebrity Century is 815 feet in length with a 105.6 ft. beam with a total occupancy of 1814 people and has a cruising speed of 21.5 kts.

Sapphire Princess
Visiting Sun. Sept. 30, 2012 7:00am - 5:00pm

The Sapphire Princess is 950 feet in length with a 121 ft. beam with a total occupancy of 2670 people and has a cruising speed of 22 kts.


BC Jobs Fair In Nanaimo Sept. 28, 2012

Vancouver Island Conference Centre
Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Employers In Attendance
  • Ainsworth Engineered Canada
  • BC Construction Association- Skilled Trades Employment Program (P.Schwartz)
  • BC Corrections – Adult Custody Division
  • Canadian Forces, 5th BC Field Regiment
  • Catalyst Paper
  • Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society
  • Devon Energy
  • Houle Electric
  • Investors Group Financial (C.Bowman)
  • Justice Institute of BC
  • JW Research Ltd.
  • London Drugs (Nanaimo)
  • Mount Washington
  • Nanaimo Youth Services Association
  • RCMP- recruiting
  • St. John Ambulance
  • Tigh-Na-Mara Resort
  • Tim Horton’s
  • Vancouver Island University
  • VI Fitness Centres
  • WorkBC Employment Service Centre


Tree Day In Nanaimo Wed. Sept. 26, 2012

Click Image To Enlarge

All events with the exception of the bike tour in Bowen Park are taking place at Woodstream Park on Departure Bay Road on Wed. Sept. 26th.


Civic Duty Calls

Mayor and Councillors Attend Opening

This past Sunday afternoon while many of us were enjoying another delightful day in paradise perhaps with friends and family, our Mayor and two Councillors were attending to some of the pressures of office attending the Forest Drive Gyro Park opening celebration.

I am the first one to point out what I think are some poor decisions on the part of council but I also need to express my appreciation for the time they sacrifice doing what is sometimes a thankless task.

Mayor Ruttan and Councillors Pattje and Johnstone were on hand for the opening of the new park on Forest Drive and graciously engaged with anyone wishing to chat with them either about the new park, or other issues of importance needing their attention.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Return Surplus Taxes!

School District & City of Nanaimo
Overtaxing Nanaimo Residents!

This past year School District 68 ended the year with a $3.2 million surplus and you may recall the City of Nanaimo ended last year with nearly $3 million in surplus taxes as well.

You might think that they would be required to return what amounts to over taxation to the Nanaimo taxpayer but if you did you demonstrate your lack of understanding as to how politicians and bureaucrats view your tax dollar.

In the case of the city of Nanaimo surplus, once again City Council agreed with Mr. Kenning's suggestion that the money be tucked away into one of those secret reseve accounts (you never know when staff might need another shiny new office).

In the case of the school district surplus a spokesman is reported to say "hopefully we can put it in the cupboard for a bit". Heaven forbid they return the money to the taxpayers, after all they might have to spend a hundred thousand or so on a shiny new logo to boost the esteem of those employed by the school district.

There Was No Need For A Tax Increase This Year!

As much as city councillors and city staff tell you how serious they are about holding the line on tax increases and how concerned they are for hardships faced by local residents, their actions don't line up with their talk.

The city surplus from last year, and the school district surplus this year exceeds the amount of tax increase local taxpayers were hit with this year. In other words, city taxes did not have to go up this year at all. They would not have had to go up for 4 or 5 years if staff hadn't decided they needed a shiny new office to play in.

I wonder how many local businesses might benefit if these over taxed dollars were left in circulation in the community instead of being tucked away in some secret account or in some cupboard somewhere.


Northfield Off Leash Dog Park

There is a new 'Off-Leash' dog park behind the new Tourist Information building at Northfield Rd. and the Nanaimo Parkway.

This is a pilot project which will run until April 30th 2013 and your feedback is invited at or by calling 250-755-5200.


New Tim Hortons Open

Nanaimo North Town Centre 'Timmy's' Now Open

Residents in the Uplands Drive/Oliver Road area no longer have to travel far to enjoy their 'double-double' with the opening of the new Tim Hortons on Uplands Drive at Nanaimo North Town Centre.

This location also sells Cold Stone Creamery ice cream and of course those famous Tim Bits.


Friends of Morden Mine Reception

The Friends of Morden Mine Reception
Commemorating the 100th Anniversary
Of Start-up Work at Morden
Saturday Sept. 29, 2012 1:30 PM
Nanaimo Museum, 100 Museum Way, Nanaimo

Friends of Morden Mine will be hosting a buffet style, complimentary light lunch. Honouring the miners in a toast to Morden is porposed. A presentation ceremony is planned to recognize local dignitaries and corporate sponsors who have assisted the society.

Author and historian Tom Paterson will deliver a talk titled 'Coal Was Not Always A Dirty Word'.

Those planning to attend are asked to send an email to under the subject heading Celebration.

You can visit the Friends of Morden Mine website at for further information about this important piece of Nanaimo history.


Forest Drive Gyro Park Open

Click Images To Enlarge

A mini-carnival atmosphere prevailed on Forest Drive Saturday as streams of young people with parents in tow showed up to celebrate the opening of a great new park in their neighbourhood.

The park is a fine example of cooperation between residents, the City and a local service club all working together to better the neighbourhood.

The park project was undertaken beginning in May 2011 under the City of Nanaimo Volunteers in Parks (VIP) Program to improve the neighbourhood. The facility boasts new playground equipment, ball court and bike trail turning the area into a green space which can be enjoyed by all ages.

Due to their generous donation the park bears the name of 'Gyro' recognizing the club's contribution to this most worthwhile project.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Port Theatre Sept. 25, 2012

Classical Coffee Concert
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 10:30 am


BC Economic Snapshot Sept. 22

VANCOUVER, BC, Sep 22, 2012/ Troy Media/ – Softening international and provincial economic growth has tamed inflationary pressure for the time being, providing some breathing room for consumers.

August’s inflation reading was muted on lower home and natural gas prices, along with stable gasoline prices, as annual growth in the consumer price index (CPI) decelerated to just 1 per cent during the month. This was down from 1.1 per cent in July and 2.1 per cent in August of last year.

While annual growth remained positive, gains masked a recent decline in the general CPI. On a month-to-month basis, the seasonally-adjusted CPI edged slightly lower in August, and was down 0.4 per cent from April.

On an annual basis, shelter costs fell from August 2011 by 0.7 per cent, driven by lower homeowners’ replacement costs (-3.5 per cent) and natural gas (-7.6 per cent). Although gas prices were still up 2.9 per cent from a year ago, prices have fallen from 4 per cent March peaks and are not exerting as much upward pressure on CPI as in 2011 when annual gains were 10 per cent to 20 per cent for much of the year.

Stronger inflationary pressure was observed in clothing and footwear (3.3 per cent) and groceries (2.4 per cent).

MLS® home sales in B.C. sank to the lowest level since mid-2010 in August as the federal government’s July tightening of mortgage insurance rules provided a further chill to already cool housing market conditions. Home sales fell in most regions, dragging provincial sales down 10 per cent from July to a seasonally-adjusted 5,100 units.


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

Sadly He Had No Money Left For An Ikea Table


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lantzville & Cedar Farmers' Market Sept.23

 Lantzville Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 27 - Oct. 2012)
Located in the parking lot of St. Philips Church, 7113 Lantzville Road this new market will be open from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm on Sundays from May 27th through to October.
The new market promises to be a meeting place for friends and neighbours giving access to healthy, local food.
For information contact

Cedar Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 13 - Oct. 28, 2012)

Take a Sunday drive out into the country, park in the fields of the Crow and Gate Neighbourhood Pub, feel grassy field below your feet and talk with the farmer that grows your food.

Open from May 13 to October 28, 2012 Sun 10:00am to 2:00pm.  Field of the Crow and Gate Pub, 2313 Yellowpoint Road, Nanaimo, B.C.

For more information visit their website at or call 250-668-5783


Brendon Menard Apologizes For Slaying Father

 According to the Times Colonist, Brandon Menard apologized for killing his father and took full responsibility for the event. He also expressed remorse for the pain and agony he has caused his family.

The younger Menard apparently has suffered from seizures ever since an auto accident which caused brain trauma. Court heard evidence that on the day of the killing he seemed like a robot and did not seem aware of the events which led to the death of his father, Tony Menard.

Testimony revealed that the older Menard walked across the firing line to set up cans and bottles for target practice when Brandon raised a semiautomatic 22 calibre rifle, aimed through the scope and shot his father five times.

Other members of the party rushed to the aid of the fallen Menard and attempts at CPR failed to revive the victim.

The prosecution is seeking three to five years imprisonment while Menard's lawyers are asking for a suspended sentence and a period of probation. The judge will render a decision on Oct. 22. The shooting happened on July 4, 2010.


Bernanke Declares War On Canadian Economy

 So what should Canada do about it?

TORONTO, ON, Sep 21, 2012/ Troy Media/ – Did you smile or cheer when U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced Quantitative Easing III (and the markets went up)?

He just declared war on your job, and the whole Canadian economy.

Of course, so did the European Central Bank, the central bank of the Peoples’ Republic of China and others.

All of them are engaged in the same practice. They’re printing money. Gobs of it, in programs that have no end point.

Some are doing it to apply stimulus to revive their economies. Some are doing it to play extend-and-pretend games to hold their banks together.

For a country like Canada, with an economy in reasonably good shape, a government that’s not out of control, banks that are healthy and dependent on exports, it’s a declaration of war.

The game everyone else is playing is “beggar thy neighbour”. All this excess cash, whatever its stated purpose, is designed to bring their currencies down.

Like a see-saw, as they push their currency down the honest Canadian currency goes up. That’s why the Canadian dollar is worth so much more lately relative to the U.S. dollar and the other world currencies. It’s a measure of their weakness more than it’s a measure of our strength, but it doesn’t matter. It kills our exports just the same.

Worse, the weaknesses in other countries’ economies affects our resource exports just as much as it does our manufactured goods and our services sold overseas.

Well, we could play the game: Mark Carney could drop our interest rates to zero, and print money like it’s going out of style. The government could launch a larger Economic Action Plan II and rack up the deficits. Both would lower the Canadian dollar.

It would also send the price of a litre of gasoline and a week’s groceries through the roof – food and fuel have gone up 35 to 40 per cent in the countries that are playing the “print and hope” game – and anyone living on a fixed income, or anyone planning to collect their pension, would be in deep trouble. It’s hard to live on zero interest.

But there is something else we can do.


Nanaimo Harbour Facebook Page

Click Image To Visit Page
Facebook Page Raises Harbour Concerns

The above image links to a new Facebook Page aimed at raising the public awareness of the issues surrounding the pending leasing of the harbour to private interests for 30 years.

There is a letter on the site from MLA Leonard Krog addressed to the Port Authority and the Mayor and City Council raising his concerns about the deal in it's present form. The letter is lengthy and makes many valid points, one paragraph that stands out states:
"I am not convinced by the information I have received to date that this proposed development will operate in the economic interests of the community or for the benefit of local residents or our local economy."

The site claims that 78% of people polled are opposed to the sale of the harbour and whether or not it will be harmful to residents of Protection Island, downtown merchants and the commercial fishing fleet.

If enough citizens don't wake up and pay attention, this, like many backroom deals will be complete with no public input whatsoever. If you don't think selling the inner harbour to a private company for 30 years for $9 million is a good idea, visit the page and add your voice.

Comment: It appears that city council thinks the deal is a good one, based on their silence on the matter. I have sent a letter to MP James Lunney and am still awaiting a reply. This is far too serious a decision to be made by the management team at the NPA and requires far more public input than is presently happening. As usual if you expect your 'leaders' to actually lead, you have to show them which direction you want them to lead. Kudos to Leonard Krog for actually expressing his concerns in this matter unlike our Federal MPs who should likely be more directly involved. As for city council, expecting direction from that assembly, just won't happen.


Park Grand Reopening Sept. 23 Free Hot Dog BBQ

Forest Drive Gyro Park Grand Reopening

Get ready to celebrate the grand re-opening of Forest Drive Gyro Park (2035 Forest Drive). Residents in the Forest Drive neighbourhood (hospital neighbourhood) have been working hard since May 2011 under the City of Nanaimo Volunteers in Parks (VIP) Program to improve their neighbourhood park.

On Sunday, September 23 bring the little ones and come check out the new playground equipment, bike trail and ball court.  There will be fun activities and a free hot dog BBQ between 11:30am – 1:30pm.

The Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission awarded a neighbourhood grant to the project at the end of September 2011. The improvements began in the spring of 2012 and are intended to assist residents in creating a great community green space for all ages to enjoy and for neighbours to share, play, visit and meet each other.  Recently the Commission has approved the renaming of the park to be Forest Drive Gyro Park in recognition of the Nanaimo Gyro Clubs contribution to the park project.

For more information about the Volunteer in Parks program please contact Kirsty MacDonald, Parks and Open Space Planner at 250 755 7506 or


Friday, September 21, 2012

West Jet Coming To Nanaimo ?

YCD will get West Jet, says official ...

reads the headline in today's local daily. Yet after reading the entire article the only thing that seems certain is that both West Jet and Air Canada are introducing new regional carriers sometime next year and perhaps, maybe, hopefully they will be coming to Nanaimo.

A Nanaimo Airport spokesman is quoted as saying "We're looking to them to hopefully be coming in 2013, and if they don't come in then, we're confident they'll come the following year." It is unclear if their spokesman could be any more ambiguous.

Neither spokesmen for West Jet or Air Canada would say anything regarding details of routes to be served by the new budget regional carrier services they will offer. One advantage that Comox has is the direct connection with the oil patch in Alberta which means they can become a type of suburb for those wishing the high earnings the patch has to offer, while still enjoying the superior quality of life the Island has to offer.


Sherry Family Honored

Playing Fields To Bear Sherry Family Name

Harewood Centennial Park was the site of a dedication ceremony paying honor to the well known Sherry family with the naming the playing fields 'Sherry Fields'.

A large number of well-wishers were on hand including local MLAs Leonard Krog and Ron Cantelon as well as a contingent of sitting city councillors and the city manager. Mayor Ruttan and Councillor Johnstone paid their respects to long-time city councillor Loyd Sherry.

It was noted that Loyd had no interest in any dedication that was not inclusive of the entire Sherry family which included first his Mother and Father and his brothers and sisters.

Loyd and his two brothers unveiled the temporary sign which designates the playing fields as the SHERRY FIELDS.


School District Logo Costs $24,000

 Another Creative Waste Of YOUR Tax Dollar!

It was recently announced that School District 68 awarded a $24,000 contract to a Vancouver firm to generate a new logo for the school district. It seems the old one just isn't modern enough, or doesn't fit with a proposed name change coming down the pike.

The Cost Is Far More Than $24,000

Hiring some high class Vancouver graphics company to re-brand the school district is the least of the total cost of the name change. That is merely the beginning, then you have all your stationary changes, online graphics, signage on buildings and trucks etc. etc. etc.

Just how cavalier those in charge of the public purse are is demonstrated in a recent article in the News Bulletin by staffer Jenn McGarrigle. In the article Donna Reimer the school district spokeswoman is quoted as saying "that number really doesn't mean anything". Jamie Brennan from the school board said the $24,233 is just what it costs to hire a professional company.

Brennan is further quoted as saying "By and large, people are anxious for change in the district". I don't remember a whole lot of talk about name changes during the last election, building new schools, seismic upgrades and better marks ...... yes, but fancy new logos?

No Reason For The Change Whatsoever

The baffle-gab used by school district types to justify the name change is the typical rationale we have come to expect from those with  far too much public money to spend.

Changing the name of the district from School District 68 to Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is hardly going to solve even one of the issues facing the school board, who in the past have done nothing to upgrade the existing schools in the district (threw away $70 million provincial dollars to build new schools), in addition Nanaimo still has one of the poorest academic records in the Province.

Spending at least $100,000 to change the district's name will accomplish nothing substantial, but then again that is pretty much status quo for the school board.