Nanaimo Council highlights Oct 5th

Nanaimo Council Highlights for October 5, 2015. Monday’s council meeting was another marathon event starting at 7pm and finishing at 12:30am.

Dr. Poteryko, Medical Director, Nanaimo/Oceanside Community, Island Health, gave a
presentation on “Health Care Starts at Home”. Some advice, eat your vegetables, exercise,  drink in moderation and don’t smoke. He also said that young children should get an hour of exercise a day.

Nanaimo Youth Advisory Council gave a presentation on their activities. They gave suggestions on what would make Nanaimo a better place to live such as having a water slide park.

City plans for the disposition of 611 Harewood Road and a portion of Dundas Street.
disposition and sale of James Miller Road adjacent to 1746 Meredith Road for $162,000.

4063 Old Slope Place development is to reduce the parking to 23 parking spaces and the front yard setback to zero.

582 Bradley Street to be developed into a four unit project. Councillor Bestwick and Fuller had concerns about the neighbourhood and the size of the lot for the project.

1455 Boundary Crescent an accessory building height issue. There was one speaker on this. The variance was rejected at the Board of Variance but council approved the changes on Monday.

416 and 434 Wakesiah Avenue to be rezoned for student housing. Approved.

1037 Old Victoria Road to be developed for a four unit building. Councillor Fuller expressed concern about the changes this would bring to the area.

City passed a motion to repeal its Variance and Development Variance Permits policy. If you don’t like the answer you get at the Board of Variance come to council.

Next up were people who had secondary suite bylaw issues.

City to exchange parkland in order to resolve a livestock paddock and fence encroachment at 3669 Rock City Road.

Council approved a building to be removed at 215 Nicol Street. One speaker expressed concerns  that the building has been in this dangerous condition for many months. Councillor Fuller said he knew of the building and it was burnt out and squatters could be living inside. He noted that this building was getting dealt with “fast” in six to eight months compared to the other 15 or so burnt out  homes in the area that have been in that state for years.

Councillor Bestwick was away at the previous meeting in September when they voted on allowing a liquor store at Brooks Landing. He brought forward a motion to revisit the decision denying a liquor store at Brooks Landing. Bestwick’s motion was approved by all except three Councillors. The matter will now go on to a public hearing. There were four speakers in total. Two delegations spoke in favour. Two spoke against. Those that spoke against were concerned that it was added to the agenda at the last minute. They were heard at midnight. City Manager Swabey did agree with the speaker that it didn’t have to be a rush item but it was at “Council’s pleasure”.

The last item approved was a motion to have four fire fighters on fire trucks for safety reasons. Concerns about the core review were raised by Councillor Fuller and Hong and dismissed. Everyone but Mayor McKay supported the motion.

Councillor Kipp was absent.

New Federal Election Voting Rules

Are you voting for the first time in a federal election? In order to vote you have to be registered with Elections Canada. How do you get registered? One option is to register online at the Elections Canada website by October 13th with a driver’s licence or a BC identification card. This works only if your street address is the same as your mailing address.

New Elections Act – Bill C23

Vince MacLean, former leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party tried to vote early at his lifelong polling station in rural Nova Scotia, but couldn’t, despite a walletful of ID and being well known in the community.

The Harper government passed the “Fair Elections Act” which further restricts rural residents from voting. The government wanted to ban vouching altogether, now vouching is limited to just one person. People are required to be registered to vote under a civic address.  This affects mostly rural people whose mailing address differs from their civic ones such as people on the move, students, First Nations people and rural politicians(!).

If you are in a senior’s home, student residence, or on a reserve, for example, you need to fill out the Letter of Confirmation of Residence form.

To find out if you are registered to vote call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 or visit their office.

Courtney-Alberni riding:
4805 Mar Street
Port Alberni
(open 7 days a week. Call 1-866-499-8028)

160 Corfield Street, Suite 6
(open 7 days a week. Call 1-866-234-3586)

3175 Cliffe Avenue, Suite 101
(open 7 days a week. Call 1-866-714-9652)

Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding:
1111 Dufferin Crescent
(open 7 days a week. call 1-866-545-0624)

Register and Vote at Advanced Polling Station

You can register and vote at the same time at one of the advanced polling stations starting next week.

Friday, October 9, 2015
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Monday, October 12, 2015

The big Voting Day is Monday October 19th.

Voter Information Card

If you received a voter information card with your name and address, you are registered to vote in the federal election. BUT you can’t use your voter information card to vote! You need to show either one of the following:

•your driver’s licence
•your provincial or territorial ID card
•any other government card with your photo, name and current address

If you have a passport, you need to show a second piece of ID. For a detailed list, see the Elections Canada ID to vote page.

A resident of Cortes Island recently received a voter information card in the mail which directed him to vote at Refuge Cove on remote West Redonda Island with no public ferry service — a difficult proposition for a man who doesn’t own a boat. How is that accessible for handicapped people? He was told the only other option was to vote at Bella Bella, over 300 km away. Yet, in the previous federal election there was a polling station on Cortes.


If your ID does not have your current address, you have to take an oath and show two pieces of ID with your name and have someone who knows you attest to your address. The person must show proof of identity and address, and be registered in the same polling division, and attest for only one person.

Candidates in your riding

Nanaimo-Ladysmith Candidates:
Jack  East   Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada  (416) 253-4475
Mark Allen  MacDonald  Conservative Party of Canada  (250) 729-6133
Sheila  Malcolmson New Democratic Party  (250) 591-9990
Paul  Manly  Green Party of Canada  (250) 591-9222
Tim  Tessier  Liberal Party of Canada  (250) 758-8577

Courtney-Alberni Candidates:
Barbara  Biley Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada  (416) 253-4475
John  Duncan Conservative Party of Canada  (250) 586-1161
Gord  Johns  New Democratic Party  (778) 427-6010
Carrie  Powell-Davidson Liberal Party of Canada  (250) 586-1915
Glenn  Sollitt Green Party of Canada  (250) 240-4934

Why don’t people vote?

There are 23 days until the 42nd Federal Election on October 19th. Stephen Harper has been the Prime Minister since 2006. Will he be back?

Will you go out and vote? If your parents are habitual voters, the chances of you voting before age twenty-five are much higher.

Why don’t people vote?

Yes, ignorance is bliss. But when the wheels fall off where do people turn? This is why it is important to engage young students in elementary school and high school in the Canadian political system.

Many corporations don’t want you to vote.  The current federal government has enacted new voter identification requirements that make it almost impossible for some people to vote.

The mainstream media has failed to effectively cover important issues of national interest that might engage potential voters. Even Rex Murphy rants on this point in the video below. The mainstream media is spending inordinate amounts of time on stories that are diversions, such as the niqab fiasco.

On Vancouver Island you can check out the candidates in your election riding.

Liquor Stores in Nanaimo

At Monday’s Nanaimo Council meeting on September 14, 2015 there was an application for a LRS (Liquor Retail Store) in Brooks Landing Mall.

The  applicant proposed relocating an existing liquor store at the Howard Johnson Hotel  to the former West Marine store in Brooks Landing Mall.

There were three delegations that spoke. Two were against the proposal and one was the applicant. The Mayor exited the meeting while one of the delegations spoke against the application.

Points were raised such as the subject  property is located between two schools—
Woodlands Secondary opposite the Island Highway and Cilaire  Elementary opposite  Departure Bay Road.  As well, there is a church down the road used by a daycare.

Also, over the years four other applications for a liquor store at the mall were turned down.  Concerns of over saturation of the retail liquor market were raised.

The applicant spoke about not operating 24 hours a day and mentioned a letter of support from the RCMP for the Howard Johnson liquor store to relocate to Brooks Landing:

“…the frequency of public intoxication, consumption of liquor, disturbances and homeless encampments are correlated to the proximity of this retail liquor store on the Howard Johnston Hotel property…alcohol-related disturbances continuously have a deleterious impact on venues hosted in Maffeo Sutton Park….”

Council discussion highlights:

Councillor Hong: …”no one has had the balls to bring it this far…small local operators are left with empty pockets…I don’t trust the government… I’m glad I sold the Oxy… there is nothing left…now the government liquor stores are putting in coolers…if people want liquor and drugs they can get it anywhere…being close to a school is not an issue…”

Councillor Fuller: …”there have been four applications before this and they have been turned down…don’t feel right about it…I don’t drink anymore…when I was young we got liquor [from all sorts of places]…”

Councillor Brennan: …”the location is close to a school…there is a tunnel used to get to the mall…safety… public drunkenness…bootlegging…”

Councillor Yoachim: …”[young people] will get liquor wherever…[Brooks Landing] is a good location…”

Mayor McKay: …”why do we need to have a city policy on liquor stores?…”

City Manager Swabey suggested that council have an updated liquor store zoning policy. The Mayor didn’t see the point and batted the issue back and forth.

The liquor store application for Brooks Landing was denied. Councillors Hong, Yoachim and Mayor McKay supported the application. Councillors Brennan, Pratt, Thorpe, Kipp and Fuller opposed. Councillor Bestwick was absent.

The new liquor store policy Bill 22 passed earlier this year by the BC government. Does this boil down to the eventual end of small liquor stores in BC?  Will the big grocery stores take over the liquor retail market? Will Jimmy Pattison Group clean up in BC and take the liquor on consignment?

According to one speaker, California wine makers will use NAFTA to challenge the sale of only BC wines in grocery stores.

Is there a saturation of liquor stores in Nanaimo?

Veterans in 1876 vs 2015


Patriotism as considered by Legislators:
“To him that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance.”
“But from Him that hath not, Shall be taken away even that which he hath.”

This political cartoon from 1876 contrasts the financial compensation given to members of parliament versus the support given to veterans of the War of 1812* and the Rebellion of 1837.**

Notes in the cartoon: “Salary Grab: Members sessional allowance increased to $1000.” “Government Allowance to the Veterans of 1812 $20 and Veterans of the Rebellion 1837 nothing. Payment refused – services not proven. Bailiffs sale of household effects and arrears of rent.”

How are we treating our veterans in 2015? How are we treating our members of parliament? Two different stories.

Every vote counts. Get out and vote. Someone died for the  freedom you enjoy today.

*The War of 1812 was a military conflict, lasting for two and a half years, fought by the United States of America against the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland and Upper Canada.

**The Rebellions of 1837 were two armed uprisings that took place in Lower and Upper Canada in 1837 and 1838. Both rebellions were motivated by frustrations with political reform.

The rebels believed that the right of citizens to participate in the political process through the election of representatives was the most important right, and they sought to make the legislative council elective rather than appointed. Rebellion in Upper Canada (and Lower Canada also) broke out after the 1836 Legislative Assembly elections were corrupted. It seemed then that the reformers’ struggles could only be settled outside the framework of existing colonial institutions. The British military crushed the rebellions, ending any possibility the two Canadas would become republic .

The British North America Act, 1840 which partially reformed the British provinces into a unitary system and eventually led to the British North America Act 1867 which created Canada and its government.


Colliery Dams Cost Plus Contract

Nanaimo council met on Wednesday, September 2nd to vote on the Colliery Dams contract to Copcan Civil Ltd. for the construction of an auxiliary spillway at the Lower Colliery Dam.

Nanaimo council voted in favour of the above motion with no changes. Councillors Bestwick, Brennan, Pratt and Thorpe and Mayor McKay voted in favour. Councillors Kipp, Fuller and Hong voted against. Councillor Yoachim was absent.

The following are highlights from the meeting:

Two delegations spoke:

Delegation 1: …why do we have 9 or 10 law enforcement officers present for this council meeting today? …we have over 100 day time break and enters … Has the city ever entered into any cost plus contracts?

Mayor: you can’t ask questions … get on with it…

Delegation 1: …there are a lot of things still up in the air…only 30% of drawings have been completed… we don’t have enough details…in order to award the contract today… we need more details…this is an open ended cheque book…

Delegation 2: I regret the money this is costing taxpayers…we risk losing our water rights…we should be focused on unemployment…I worked for Ontario Hydro…a sealed tender doesn’t guarantee anything.

Discussion followed:

Bestwick: as we all know and understand…this council unanimously voted to repair the spillway…the award of this contract is a cost plus or open ended…but because of the time constraints … which we will not meet…I am on record of not supporting this …we voted to put the spillway in the least non-invasive way…so it all comes down to balance…my concern now is to get the job done … in the least invasive way…the BC government is forcing this on our council…I know Copcan is on a cost plus contract… I hope there will more details on this…

Bestwick: … [makes friendly amendment – that prior to onsite work beginning, Council be allowed to review plans and confirm it is the least invasive option]

Brennan: …that is not a friendly amendment to the motion…

Kipp: …nothing would be removed until the actual location is pinned down, is that the purpose of your motion, Bestwick?

Bestwick: yes … we are moving forward…we all know the spillway is moving east…I don’t want to get into a debate…we need to balance the alternative location

Kipp: …recommendations came from Colliery Dam committee but there was no quorum … I support Bestwick…I don’t want the project started without plans…

Fuller: I voted against the cost plus contract … I like Bestwick’s motion … I can see it working…we’ve agreed to do something…To remove trees before we know where this is going is ludicrous…

Swabey: …we know were it’s going…based on Council’s decision…alternative locations possible for spillway…we don’t have all the details…we will not meet the deadline of the province…

Hong: ….is there a plan of what trees will be removed?… It’s still in limbo…

Swabey: … we do know where the location of the spillway would be…it would cost $300,000 to $500,000 to get drawings for the tree removal, if we get drawings…

Hong: …what stage are we at with the drawings?… when can Copcan start work?…

Staff: September 15th.

Hong: …what percentage of the drawings are done?

Swabey: …Golder is still working on the drawings and probably won’t be finished until October…four to six weeks…

Fuller: ‘we won’t meet the deadline’ is now my favourite saying from Staff. This keeps getting more interesting…we can be assured we won’t meet the deadlines…we haven’t met the deadlines already. September 1st has come and gone. If we approve the motion as it stands…the work would start immediately. If we approve [Bestwick’s amendment]… this could take more time …it could cost $300K and it could also cost less too…nothing has been set in stone…I will vote to support [Bestwick’s] amendment.

Councillor Kipp: This is a city park and yet Parks and Rec are not involved…

Kipp: …who is preparing the drawings, Herold [Engineers]…this rush to get [Copcan] started … Copcan had to have this special meeting today…we are facilitating the comptroller’s request to get going…It’s September 2nd and we haven’t seen any more drawings from Golder…Copcan will get the contract…they are hiring people for landscaping and tree experts yet we have City Staff we are not using…the process seems odd…we have had so many delays…Before staff didn’t care about water rights now they do…the people asks questions we don’t answer…tearing apart the park…What’s the final location of spillway?….we don’t even know the soil construction…

Mayor: calls question on Bestwick’s friendly amendment

Councillors Hong, Kipp, Fuller voted in favour of Bestwick’s motion. Councillors Bestwick, Brennen, Pratt, Thorpe and Mayor Mckay opposed. Bestwick votes against his own motion.

Bestwick continues to ask questions about the proposed location of the auxiliary spillway.

Bestwick: …I am concerned that without the specific details we don’t know things…many people said the dams were fine [including Mayor Mckay]… Do we need to proceed with the project?… I don’t like the project going forward in its current form…We will find ourselves in another conundrum…I am going to vote in favour of Copcan getting the contract…I am going to put all my faith in them…if one tree is saved great… leave it up to the professionals…

Fuller: ….Concillor Kipp received a letter…we have nothing…we don’t have details… there is nothing written in stone on this project…

Kipp: …has the City ever awarded a cost plus contract without detailed drawings?

Swabey: No, but the RDN did just recently with the outfall contract.

Kipp: I voted for that because it was an emergency… Are we charging any late charges on this?

Swabey: There will be no late charges if deadlines are missed.

Kipp: …What is our riparian action on this?

Swabey: We will address it when it comes up.

Kipp: …the dams needed to be monitored from the beginning … the water flow levels… I can’t support this cost plus project…

Hong: …will the trees be saved?…I don’t have a problem with awarding the contract…I can’t vote for this … they [Copcan] don’t need to start right away… Bestwick’s motion was going to give us some assurance of finding the best pathway for the spillway…is this the best option to take?…I would love to save the trees…we need to feel warm and fuzzy inside about this…show us what you can do to save these trees. We need some assurances…I would like to know what trees are going to be removed…let the people know as well…

Bestwick: When this specific location was chosen…what other options did Golder & Herold work on?…

Staff: …three other design types were presented…

Bestwick: …my question wasn’t answered… the site of the spillway? …did we define the [exact] location…not what type of spillway…you didn’t answer my question…we didn’t have any option before this nothing…

Swabey: …we don’t have time to do anything…we just relied on Golder…we don’t have time…

Bestwick: …rocks to be removed…the pinning of the concrete…slope…trees…removed…the shortest route might not be the best…

Swabey: … it costs $20,000 to drill a day….we don’t have the time ….this is the route chosen

Bestwick: …the deadline is a mystery to me…it’s not going to be [completed in time]

Pratt: Call the question

Fuller: …if this motion is defeated…I will make a new motion…fight ’til we die….

Hong: … I don’t have a problem with awarding the contract… Bestwick’s amendment was good…

Kipp: …what is ‘substantial completion’? Is it up to the comptroller?

Swabey: …we have to work with the province…

Pratt: Call the question

Bestwick: has Golder or Herold submitted design drawings with locations for the spillway?

Mayor calls the question to award Copcan Civil Ltd the contract for the Colliery Dams remediation project.

Councillors Bestwick, Brennan, Pratt and Thorpe and Mayor McKay voted in favour. Councillors Kipp, Fuller and Hong voted against.

Kipp: I want off the Colliery Dam Select Committee [it’s a farce].

Fuller: makes a motion to disband the Colliery Dams committee. All voted in favour.

How can the City of Nanaimo blindly enter a cost-plus contract with no strings attached? The contractor can take as long as they like while the Nanaimo taxpayers are paying through the nose.