June 7, 2021

This week... 

The 2020 Annual Report is ready for review, we celebrate Pride Month and World Ocean's Day and don't forget to BYOB Nanaimo. Read on for more!

Message From Mayor Leonard Krog

"The year 2020 started with a lot of hope and promise. However, soon, our community began to grapple with the domino effects of the global pandemic. City Staff had to adapt and keep adapting to the ever changing public health orders, while delivering core services that you and your families rely on every day. The revenue losses from City facility closures, recreation programming cancellations, and the closure of our casino forced Council to work through challenging and difficult matters around staffing and the financial hardship the City faced.

Since the pandemic hit close to tax time, Council looked at ways we could ease the tax pressures on our citizens given that, legally, municipalities do not have the ability to run deficits like other levels of governments do. As a result, we pushed back the penalty date for late property tax payments to October 1, 2020, extended the User Rate payment deadline from 30 days to 90 days, and approved the temporary restaurant patio program so that restaurants could survive the indoor gathering restrictions brought in by the BC Government’s public health orders.

Despite a downward trend in housing stats in 2020, building permits were still amazingly strong at $243.1 million, making 2020 the second largest year for building permit values in Nanaimo’s history.

From a governance excellence standpoint, Council moved forward with REIMAGINE NANAIMO, a coordinated Strategic Policy Review that aims to complete a comprehensive update of a number of key strategic planning policy documents: Official Community Plan; Parks, Recreation and Cultural Plan; Active Sustainable Transportation Plan; Economic Development Strategy; Water Supply Strategic Plan; and, Climate Action Plan. Once complete, these plans will help us with our decision making as various voices share opportunities with Council for what they wish to see in our growing City.

As you read the City of Nanaimo’s 2020 Annual Report, you will learn more about the projects and initiatives Council moved forward with to help Nanaimo weather the COVID-19 storm.

On behalf of Nanaimo City Council, thank you for reviewing the City of Nanaimo’s 2020 Annual Report, which for me, is a testament of how resilient we are as a City, and how fortunate we are to have the talented and dedicated staff we have."

In the report you will also find a message from Chief Administrative Officer, Jake Rudolph along with accomplishments from last year.


Get Vaccinated

Message from Island Health

As of June 3, there were 37 active COVID-19 cases in the Island Health region (19 in the South Island, 15 in the Central Island and 3 in the North Island) with approximately 10-15% of recent cases community acquired (no known source and did not report travel outside of Island Health).

  • Everyone age 12+ in B.C. can now register online at www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or by phone: 1-833-838-2323. Every person vaccinated makes us all safer and gets us closer to putting the COVID-19 pandemic behind us.
  • We have now moved up our timeline for second doses. All vaccines being used in BC require a second dose to maximize protection for the maximum amount of time.
  • Island Health is screening every COVID-19 positive test for variants, many of which are more transmissible and can lead to more severe illness. Currently, the majority of active cases are presumed variants of COVID-19.
  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 stay home, self-isolate and call 1-844-901-8442 (8:30 am – 8:00 pm daily) to book a test. If you are uncertain if you need a test, visit bc.thrive.health or review the symptoms on Island Health’s website.


Celebrating Pride

Did you know? June is Pride month! To recognize the importance of the Pride movement, a flag-raising ceremony took place on June 1 and Mayor and Council proclaimed June as Pride Month. To learn about Pride in Nanaimo visit the Nanaimo Pride Society’s website.


World Oceans Day

Tuesday, June 8 is an international celebration to raise awareness of the importance of our oceans. In 2021, we will be once again doing this virtually and encouraging families and individuals to think about ways you can be good stewards of these waters that connect us together.


Bear Aware

Prevention is key to keeping bears and other wildlife safe. Follow the guidelines, especially if you live within or nearby bear-frequented areas:

Keep carts secured on non-collection days:

  • Do not set your carts out the night before your collection day.
  • Place your carts out at the curb between 5:00-8:00 AM on the morning of your scheduled collection day.
  • Remove your carts from the curb after they have been collected.
  • Store carts in a secured location such as a garage or shed, especially if you live on the outer city limits, in a rural neighbourhood, near a park or in any location that may be close to a wildlife habitat.

Reduce odours in your carts:

  • Wrap smelly food in newspaper and freeze until collection day.
  • Use vinegar and/or baking soda to naturally eliminate odours.
  • Periodically rinse carts with soapy water.

Placing carts out the night before collection day goes against local waste collection bylaws and provincial regulations. Under the BC Wildlife Act, a person leaving attractants accessible to dangerous wildlife may be subject to a $230 fine(s) issued by the BC Conservation Officer Service. In areas frequented by bears, setting carts out the night before collection is considered an offence. Our local Conservation Officers remind us the public is legally responsible to secure their attractants, and not place garbage and compost carts out the night before collection.


B.Y.O.B. Nanaimo

Get ready to bring your own bag, Nanaimo! Under a new City bylaw, beginning July 1, 2021, businesses will no longer be providing plastic checkout bags. If you forget your own bag, reusable and paper bags will be available for purchase.

The Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw No. 7283 aims at reducing the impact of plastic waste on our environment and infrastructure. The average Canadian uses 400 plastic bags per year – this is the equivalent of 40 million plastic bags per year in Nanaimo alone. Many of these bags aren’t being reused or properly recycled through depot drop off. Instead, most plastic bags end up in our landfill, and sometimes end up in our waterways, storm drainage systems and greenspaces.


Will Your Commute Be Affected This Week?

Up-to-date information on City construction projects:

  • Metral Drive (Somerset South - Mostar) will be closed to southbound traffic during construction hours effective today, May 31st to June 25th. All efforts will be made to accommodate northbound traffic. However, if traffic backs up onto Mostar or Hwy 19A, we will be forced to do a full closure until congestion subsides. All businesses will remain open. Please expect delays and account for extra time when navigating the area. Commuters are asked to use alternate routes whenever possible.
  • To accommodate development and maintain site safety, Rock City Road will be closed from Ocean Pearl Terrace to Barrington Road to through traffic for 24 hours. Local traffic should expect delays and plan their trips accordingly.
  • Sign installation, line painting and electrical work is taking place this week as part of the Front Street Complete Street project. Commuters can expect delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes whenever possible. All businesses and parkades remain open and accessible.
  • The entrance to Bowen Centre (opposite Howard Avenue) will be closed from June 7-11 while crews work on a sewer tie-in. Bowen Centre and The Kim Pool can be accessed from the Wall Street entrance while this work is taking place.


Work With Us!

We are currently looking for candidates to fill the following positions:


Meetings This Week

Mon, June 7: Regular Council Meeting at 7:00 pm

Thurs, June 10: Design Advisory Panel Meeting at 5:00 pm

Mon, June 14: Governance and Priorities Committee at 1:00 pm

Did you know?

You can watch live meetings, view a list of upcoming meetings, read agendas and watch recordings of past meetings all in one place on the City website.


Council in Action

Missed what decisions Council made during one of their meetings? Don’t worry, we have you covered! Check out our Council Meeting Summary page for quick overviews.

Want the Latest City of Nanaimo News & Information?

Stay up to date with Council, programming and events:

City of Nanaimo's COVID-19 Response

  • Masks Mandatory in all public spaces at all City facilities.
  • Safety protocols are in place to help keep both visitors and staff safe when visiting our facilities. Please check out our Online Services page to see how we can help you.
  • Recreation facilities, the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and arenas are open and following evolving province-wide COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • Outdoor amenities remain open, however please continue to practice physical distancing, hand washing & please stay home if not feeling 100% well.