Local News

Age-old tax scam still very active



RCMP on the mid-island are still getting dozens of calls each week about a Canada Revenue Agency phone scam.

You get a call from someone claiming to be a CRA agent, who says you haven't paid back taxes, and if you don't pay, an arrest warrant will be put out.

Police say the CRA doesn't work this way, and the best thing to do is just hang up the phone.

To report a fraud like...(for full story click title)

Former VI Raider tells story of chaos fleeing home town of Fort McMurray



A Fort McMurray resident with ties to Nanaimo is sharing his story, as he flees a catastrophic wildfire destroying his hometown.

Teddy Ash, who lived in Nanaimo while playing for the VI Raiders, says things escalated very quickly on Tuesday evening.

He describes what he saw as he drove south from the north side of Fort McMurray.

“Fire all on the sides of the road, the trees and...(for full story click title)

Council travel, conference expenses under the microscope



An even more watchful eye on how much Nanaimo city Councillors spend on attending conferences.

A motion from Councillor Bill Bestwick has been approved, requiring Councillors to ask for permission on spending above $1,000 a year on travel, hospitality and conferences.

The new policy is in addition to the recently approved Council Spending and Amenities Policy.

Bestwick says the idea...(for full story click title)

Federal child benefit brings down "living wage" for first time in 8 years



For the first time in the eight years it has been calculated, the living wage in B.C. has gone down.

The living wage calculates the hourly rate each parent in a two parent family, with two children, would need to earn to meet their basic expenses.

That number in the Oceanside region for 2016 has been calculated at $16.76 an hour. That's down from $17.66 in 2015.

It was...(for full story click title)

Nanaimo councillors finally agree to give themselves Acting Mayor's pay



After debating the issue at four different meetings, Nanaimo councillors have finally agreed to give themselves a raise.

Councillors will now be paid 10% of the Mayor's base salary while they serve as Acting Mayor, which amounts to a roughly 3.5% pay hike, or a little more than $1000 annually.

The raise passed by a vote of 6-2, with councillors Diane...(for full story click title)

SD68 budget changed to lighten cuts, dips deeper into surplus



It appears Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District trustees will soften the blow on proposed cuts for next year's budget.

District Superintendent John Blain is now proposing that seven full-time equivalent support staff positions be eliminated, instead of 14.

Board Chair Steve Rae says concerns from the public are being addressed.

“Originally proposed from staff was the...(for full story click title)

Gutting of Schooner Cove Marina among the first steps in Fairwinds development



It's the start of a new era in Nanoose Bay, with the first signs of a mega development for the 900 acre property.

The new owner of Fairwinds Golf Club, Vancouver based Seacliff Properties, is now gutting the Schooner Cove Marina to make room for several businesses to anchor a new commercial centre to be known as 'Fairwinds Landing'.

Ian Porter, Director of Real Estate for...(for full story click title)

Central Island Ready to Help Fight Fires in Fort McMurray



Fires continue to rage in Fort McMurray and Northern BC.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says 1600 structures have been lost since Tuesday in the Fort McMurray fire, and an official with Alberta Emergency Management concedes a large portion of the town may be lost.

(Click title for full story)

Blood Donors Needed



Blood donations are always down in the summer months but this year the Zika virus is lowering numbers even further.

About 2000 donations will be needed in Nanaimo in the summer months, and many travelers will have to be 'deferred', according to Ann Chabert with Canadian Blood Services.

“If you've left North America or Europe and you've gone to any other...(for full story click title)

Qualicum Beach Backhoe Theft



It's not your standard vehicle theft.

Oceanside RCMP are investigating after someone drove off with a piece of heavy equipment from the Town of Qualicum Beach works yard.

Cpl Jesse Foreman says it happened sometime last weekend, “It appears someone, or some unknown suspect, or multiple suspects, gained entry into the works yard on Fern Road ended up starting a backhoe and used...(for full story click title)

Nanaimo man charged in connection with suspicious death in Victoria



A Nanaimo man has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a suspicious death in Victoria a year ago.

40 year old Colin Lamontagne was arrested last week by Nanaimo RCMP and the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit.

He's charged in relation to the suspicious death of Shaun Alexander McGregor. McGregor was found dead in Victoria on April 9th, 2015.

A woman who was...(for full story click title)

Property taxes stay flat, but homeowners will be paying more



While property taxes aren't going up this year, that doesn't mean Nanaimo residents won't be paying more.

The 2016 budget and tax rates were approved by council Monday night.

This year's property tax increase is zero percent, however water, sewer and garbage collection fees are going up.

So are the taxes collected by the city for the regional library and...(for full story click title)

Nanaimo sees biggest increase in home prices in VIREB zone



The mid-island housing market continues its strong growth.

Home sales were up 27% in Nanaimo and 30% in Parksville last month.

The total numbers came in at 188 homes sold in the harbour city, and 99 in Oceanside for April.

At 13%, Nanaimo had the biggest increase in average sale price in the six zones of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board.

The average price was $437,000 last...(for full story click title)

Census information key to federal funding decisions



The 2016 census forms have arrived in the mail.

Stats Canada's Geoff Bowlby says the census is the back bone of the federal, provincial and municipal government information systems.

“So it's absolutely important that this information be collected and the more people who respond, the better that quality information and the better the decisions that governments can make to...(for full story click title)

Homeless campers comply with eviction notice



Long-term homeless campers have moved, allowing crews to fix a downtown Nanaimo bridge.

A small group of campers had staked out the embankment under the Pearson Street Bridge for several months, however, they were evicted since they were occupying Ministry of Transportation land.

The province claimed that the campers, who were offered alternate shelter, were causing erosion issues and...(for full story click title)