Local News

VIREB Buyer Profile shows Island Homes not being Bought as Investment Properties



A few interesting stats from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board's recent buyer profile.

The survey of nearly 1,700 buyers on the island, north of the Malahat, last year shows that only 2.1 percent of those purchases were investment properties.

86 percent of the the survey respondents bought their home in the Vancouver Island real estate board region for under...(for full story click title)

CPA Report shows Island had strong job growth in 2015



It's good news for Vancouver Island's economy.

A report compiled by economists through the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC found the Island and Central Coast economy enjoyed job growth of 1.5 percent last year.

That's above the provincial average of 1.2 percent and the modest 0.6 percent growth our region saw in 2014.

Woody Hayes, past president of the Chartered...(for full story click title)

Qualicum fire sparked by man burning weeds



What seemed like minor yard work turned into a serious fire in Qualicum Beach.

It happened on Hawthorne Rise Sunday night when Qualicum Beach Fire Department Chief Darryl Kohse says a man was using a torch to burn weeds in his yard.

However, he says, his hedge caught fire, and the flames then spread to his neighbour's roof.

“What's problematic with these fires is a lot of...(for full story click title)

Ham Radio is key in Disaster Response



A recent disaster drill in Port Alberni showed just how important amateur radio operators are in an emergency.

With telephone lines and cell service blacked out, they were able to establish communications with a Canadian Forces aircraft.

The City of Nanaimo's Emergency Program Manager Karen Lindsay says ham operators are key in a first response.

“The communication...(for full story click title)

No security system in place at mail warehouse hit by theft



Security questions are being asked after a break-in and mail theft at the Canada Post warehouse in Nanaimo.

RCMP Const. Gary O'Brien says it happened about two weeks ago, when a back door of the East Wellington Road facility was pried open and an undisclosed amount of mail stolen.

He says police don't have much to go on.

“That building was locked and apparently from our...(for full story click title)

Nanaimo's communications department much smaller than comparable cities



The city of Nanaimo's communications department may not be as large or cost-heavy as some people think.

The city reports it's annual communications department budget of three full-time workers and all operating expenses is $333,000. That's below the average of just over 5 full-time staff and $550,000 spent annually as reported by five cities of similar size to...(for full story click title)

Island communities look at social procurement policies



Qualicum Beach is leading the charge and other island communities could be following shortly.

Qualiucm Beach has approved Canada's first ever social procurement policy, which puts a premium on increased social values when tax dollars are being spent.

Consultant Sandra Hamilton helped form the recently endorsed policy for Qualicum Beach; she says more strategic approaches to public...(for full story click title)

Municipalities say it's too late to pay property taxes via mail



Local governments are warning it could be too late to pay your property taxes through traditional mail.

Possible job action, as of July 2, by unionized Canada Post staff could derail delivery of those payments and home owner grant applications in time for the July 4th deadline.

Payment and grant applications can be made online instead.

Another options is in person at your local city...(for full story click title)

Teen girls lucky to walk away from serious crash



A serious single-vehicle crash on Highway 19, at the border between Lantzville and Nanoose Bay.

Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman says a northbound car with three teenaged girls from Oceanside inside veered off the highway and went down an embankment Wednesday night.

Foreman says two of the girls remain in Nanaimo Hospital, adding it's unclear what caused the crash.

“We...(for full story click title)

Vancouver Island Party wants to make the Island a province



You could have another option on your ballot for the 2017 provincial election.

The Vancouver Island Party was launched this week, and their ultimate goal is to make the Island Canada's 11th province.

Party leader, former Conservative MP Robin Richardson, says they expect to run candidates in every Vancouver Island riding.

(Click title for full story)

Quality of Life study underway at a noted townhouse complex.



Vancouver Island University students are helping a housing complex in South Nanaimo with a notorious reputation.

The Community Outreach and Care students have launched a year-long project to address quality of life issues at King Arthur Court in Harewood.

Coordinator Ashleigh Martinflatt admits the residents were surprised at being asked for input.

“When we kind of just went in...(for full story click title)

Nanaimo lends a hand as group struggles to care for hundreds of parrots



A bit of relief for a non-profit bird sanctuary working to clean up the mess at the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs.

The city of Nanaimo has allowed Delta based Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary to use the now vacant SPCA building on Labieux Road as a staging area for some of the 450 birds they are trying to find homes for.

The SPCA has moved into their new building on Westwood Road...(for full story click title)

Flood from broken water main closes highway, damages businesses



580,000 litres of water gushed down a pair of major Nanaimo streets following a water main break Wednesday morning.

The city of Nanaimo's utilities manager John Elliott says the break was reported at 9:45, on Terminal avenue near Commercial Street, which caused significant pavement damage and minor flooding to a few businesses.

Elliott says Terminal Avenue between Comox and Esplanade...(for full story click title)

Food Recovery Program a saving grace for Nanaimo Food Bank



While food and cash donations are slumping, the Food Recovery Program is a life-saver for Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank.

Executive director Peter Sinclair says about 60 percent of the food they hand out, to an average of 3,500 people a month, is from five local grocery stores.

“Really has transformed our operations for us, historically, the...(for full story click title)

CPP Premium Hikes panned by Taxpayers Federation



Not everyone is sold on a proposed change to the Canada Pension Plan.

At a meeting recently, provincial finance ministers agreed in principle on a plan to raise C-P-P premiums.

Aaron Wudrick, National Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says they're disappointed.

“We have long said that we think this is a solution in search of a problem. We know that...(for full story click title)