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Residents fight to keep their local schools
Set your clocks ahead an hour before you go to bed Saturday night. It may be spring-like when you wake up Sunday morning but it won’t be spring. That doesn’t arrive until March 20
Jada Beaman told District 69 staff and trustees she’d be ‘really sad’ if they closed her school. A lot of adults in French Creek and Qualicum feel the same way NEWS, Pages 5 & 6
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Protecteur crew ‘amazing’
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Horner’s Corner Page 11
eep Bay’s Arlene Veenhof was playing cards aboard HMCS Protecteur when the lights went out and fire alarms rang. She thought it was another drill until crew members leaped into their fire gear just before 7 p.m. Feb. 27. Some 650 kilometres from Hawaii out in the Pacific Ocean, the crew fought a raging engineroom fire for over seven hours. “We could smell smoke,” Veenhof said Wednesday just after arriving home. “The sailors were all very calm. The conditions were dire but the commander and crew were incredible. “Four (sailors) made it out of the engine area and fire teams went in. It was around 2,000 degrees in there. With the smoke, they said they couldn’t see in front of their hands.” Veenhof’s son, Captain Nick
Civilian passengers from HMCS Protecteur on board the guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy are in high spirits Tuesday as they pull into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, in Honolulu, Hawaii. That’s Deep Bay’s Arlene Veenhof waving on the right. [CPL. DARCY LEFEBVRE, CANADIAN FORCES COMBAT CAMERA] Veenhof, a Sea King Navigator based in Esquimalt, had invited his mom, a retired Royal Canadian Air Force captain, on board to experience his workplace. The Department of National
Defence says that “having family members on board for the last part of a sail is a common practice with RCN ships returning from extended operations and exercises and one that family
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members appreciate.” Veenhof certainly gained an appreciation for what her son and his comrades do for a living. See PROTECTEUR, Page 4
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Municipal employees paid a bundle Lowest-paid full-time civic employees in Parksville and Qualicum make more than $37,500 a year
he will research what other B.C. municipalities have done in their newest collective agreements and report back to council. “Then council will give a mandate as to what parameters they would like to have,” he said. The parameters will be shared with the hired negotiator. In Qualicum Beach, increasing municipal wages and salaries are also a concern. Since 2010, the town has reduced its management team to seven from 11. Corporate administrator Trudy Coates departed last Friday, with Mayor Teunis Westbroek explaining that the town received $345,000 less in provincial revenue sharing in 2013 and the shortfall is expected to continue this year. In 2012, the town paid $4,131,553 in salaries, with 14 of approximately 60 employees earning more than $75,000 a year. Town acting CAO John Marsh said salaries of council members and senior management are tied to the B.C. Consumer Price Index.
Municipalities across Canada are claiming they’re suffering from an infrastructure deficit of $123 billion but have our local councils done enough to cut spending? This week the Oceanside Star begins a series based on the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation’s ‘Beggar’s Checklist.’ This week’s story looks at staff wages and salaries in local government. JULIE BERTRAND OCEANSIDE STAR
ooming contract negotiations with union employees will deliver another tax hit to the residents of Parksville and Qualicum Beach. Both municipalities are scheduled to start negotiating new collective agreements with the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 401, which represents the employees, apart from senior management staff. “It’s a dynamic time. There’s a lot of austerity in Canada,” said Parksville Coun. Bill Neufeld. “I don’t know what taxpayers can afford to pay. We’re thinking about an appropriate way to pay our bills.” During the last collective agreement, in effect from 2010 to 2013, the wages of Parksville union employees increased by more than seven per cent. Employees also received a lot of benefits, including the right to accumulate 60 sick days to be paid at the time of retirement. Council members’ salaries are tied to the B.C. Consumer Price Index. From 2010 to 2013, the B.C. Consumer Price Index increased by 4.7 per cent. Senior management salary increases are at council’s discretion.
City of Parksville Coun. Peter Morrison works on a sign for the Regional District of Nanaimo in his Wallpepper Sign Shop on Friday. ‘There’s lots of head-hunting’ for municipal staff, he says. [JULIE BERTRAND/OCEANSIDE STAR] In 2012, 13 of the city’s approximately 70 employees were paid more than $75,000, with the city paying a total of $4,900,552 in salaries. The lowest hourly wage paid to a unionized employee was $20.87 for an office assistant, which amounts to an annual salary of $37,983.40 for a 35-hour work week. According to the 2011 National Household Census, the average income in Parksville is $33,372; the median income is $27,942. Neufeld said he’s of two minds when it
comes to municipal salaries. “I want the city to have the best here but I don’t want to pay exorbitantly for them,” he said. For the upcoming negotiations, he wants to see no wage increases and removal of the sick-days payouts. “They’re not available in the private sector,” he said. “They’re a tremendous liability.” Parksville Coun. Peter Morrison shares Neufeld’s views on pay increases but says salaries are driven by demand. “There’s a lack of capable employees [for municipal work]. There’s lots of headhunting,” he said. “The city had an engineer shortage for the better part of two years.” Before negotiations start, city CAO Fred Manson said
See WAGES, Page 4
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4 || OCEANSIDE STAR || THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014 BEGGAR’S CHECKLIST
Protecteur was adrift in pitch-black Beneﬁts ‘lead the pack’ WAGES, from Page 1
PROTECTEUR, from Page 1 “We went to the marshalling area and stayed there for few hours,” Veenhof said. Food was passed around but, “there was no fresh water... The bottled water was used up in the course of the night.” More than 200 sleeping berths had been lost. Only one toilet worked for the crew of 279, 17 family visitors and two civilian contractors. “Most slept anywhere they could lay a cot,” Veenhof said. “My son slept in the helicopter hangar. The helicopter was stuck.” Her berth was one of the few intact. While falling asleep, she wondered if an electrical fire might hit her end of the ship. “The fire kept flaring. It was in the back of my mind. “The rooms were pitch-black. Communications were down. We were absolutely alone.” Protecteur drifted some 65 kilometres. The nearest opportunity for help, the USS Michael Murphy, a guided-missile destroyer, was 485 kilometres away. Veenhof’s husband Bill, also a retired RCAF officer and Deep Bay-Bowser’s regional director, learned while checking internet news that the 46-year-old supply ship was ablaze. He read of injuries and dam-
age to the ship but was unable to contact his wife or son. On Saturday, Nick called after limited communications were restored and Bill learned that Arlene and the other visiting family members had been moved to the Michael Murphy. The American crew members gave them water, clothing and their own personal toiletries, Veenhof said. “They even gave us their deodorant.” Bad weather, however, hampered an attempt to tow the Protecteur. “The waves were about 12 to 15 feet high,” Veenhof said. “It was definitely windy.” The USS Chosin, a 567-foot warship, was brought in but the tow line snapped in heavy seas. The line was then reattached to the USNS Sioux, a powerful ocean tug, which got the job done. Protecteur was expected to reach harbour in Hawaii today. Veenhof and the other family members, aboard the Michael Murphy, arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Tuesday. She was home in Deep Bay Wednesday morning. “We signed on for an adventure and we got one,” Veenhof said. “I probably should have been scared, but I wasn’t. It was very amazing to watch our kids perform in such a stressful environment.”
During the 2011-2013 union contract, Qualicum Beach employees also had the right to accumulate 60 sick days to be paid at retirement. Their wages increased by 8.25 per cent during that time. In 2012, the lowest hourly wage for a unionized employee was $20.62, which amounts to a yearly salary of $37,528,40 for a 35-hour work week. The 2011 National Household Census puts the average income in Qualicum Beach at $37,759; the median income is $28,740. Qualicum Beach Coun. Dave Willie said council will look at some of the employee benefits
Qualicum Beach businessman and Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer says council has curtailed expenses as much as it could during the current term.
RDN salaries to rise three per cent The amount of tax dollars paid out in the form of salaries at the Regional District of Nanaimo is expected to rise by three per cent this year. In 2012, the employees at the Regional District of Nanaimo earned $20,981,578.53. Budget forecasts for 2014 project that will hit $28.5 million in 2014. Taxpayers will be on the hook for another $928,000 to pay for salaries at the RDN, which are released during the following summer.
The regional district’s last statement of financial information showed that more than 21 RDN employees earned in excess of $100,000 in salary and benefits. Topping the list were regional and community utilities manager John Finnie ($170,800), chief administrative officers Paul Thorkelsson ($163,000) and Carol Mason ($154,400), parks and recreation manager Thomas Osborne ($145,000) and solid waste manager Dennis Trudeau ($144,300).
before contract negotiations start. “Municipalities now lead the pack [when it comes to benefits]. I don’t know if it’s right,” he said. “If it’s a public concern, the public should have a discussion with the municipalities.” Like Morrison, Willie said salaries and benefits are driven by supply and demand, with a senior-management staff turnover that will not stop. Town Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer said it’s council’s duty to be prudent with taxpayers’ money, which is why the town has eliminated four senior-management positions. “You can’t do anything quickly,” he said. “You could paralyze the community by going too far and too fast.” He believes the council has accomplished as much as it could in curtailing expenses during its current term. Like Parksville, Qualicum Beach council and staff will pay attention to contract negotiations between the Regional District of Nanaimo and its unionized staff. “We’re looking at the RDN negotiations and they will set the outlines for how things will go for other municipalities,” Willie said.
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Qualicum Beach resident Don Reimer gathers support from the crowd during Monday’s facility review meeting at Qualicum Beach Elementary School to turn it into a community school while district trustees and staff look on. [JULIE BERTRAND/OCEANSIDE STAR]
‘Town will trickle away,’ parents warn trustees JULIE BERTRAND OCEANSIDE STAR
motions ran high during Monday’s school-closure meeting at Qualicum Beach Elementary School, with about 100 residents intent on saving their school. “Fewer families will choose to move here and stay,” resident Jared Shaw told district staff and trustees. “People will choose to gravitate towards another school with services and businesses around. [Closing QBES] will be the undoing of the community so we can balance the SD69 budget for one year.” District staff are recommending closing four elementaries — Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Winchelsea and French Creek — and reconfiguring the district’s three middle schools into kindergarten-Grade 7 schools and the two high schools into Grades 8-12 schools. Should trustees vote to close schools at a meeting April 29, QBES students will be moved to Qualicum Beach Middle School, 4.2 kilometres from QBES near the western edge of the town. Anne Skipsey said the downtown elementary enhances Canada’s oldest community. “Senior residents often stop to watch students play outside,” Skipsey said. “I’ve been told it was the best antidepressant ever. A healthy community needs balance.” Don Reimer asked for more time to transform QBES into a community
school. “It’s hard to create a community school when the axe is over our head,” he said. “The town will trickle away if the school closes.” Kerry Holderness contested the demographics used by the district, as well as the deferred-maintenance cost for QBES of $2,295,384. “The average age of concrete buildings is more than 77 years,” she said. “QBES still has 30-40 years left.” Population analyst Warren Munroe challenged the demographics, saying there’s a difference between the 2010 and 2013 projections. “It puts into question whether the decline in population and students will continue,” he said. Superintendent Rollie Koop said the projections are reliable. “Those are numbers we use every year. They’re not pulled out of thin air,” he said. “They show very accurate numbers for the next five years.” Jill Sawchuck asked if there are more plans to save money, since closing the four schools would only save $1.23 million a year, while the district’s annual deficit is projected to grow to $3.5 million by 2018-2019. District secretary-treasurer Erica Bailey said staff have not prepared a five-year plan. “We are working on it,” she said. “Our first step is looking at facilities. We have 2,000 excess spaces.” The next public consultation meeting will be held at Qualicum Beach Middle School this coming Monday, March 10 at 7 p.m.
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French Creek school â€˜differentâ€™ BRIAN WILFORD OCEANSIDE STAR
upporters of French Creek Community School, â€œthe little school with the big heart,â€? sought to convince trustees and district staff Saturday to not make the rural schoolâ€™s 102nd year its last. â€œThis is not an issue of bricks and mortar,â€? former trustee Barb Terry Safer Ocean Systems told the four trustees and four senior 214 Prideaux St. staff meeting with more than a hunOffice (250) 755-7742 Nanaimo dred people in the school gym. Cell (250) 252-0491 email@example.com â€œRural children are very different Fax (250) 755-7711 www.saferoceans.com from their urban counterparts,â€? Terry said. They belong to 4-H, theyâ€™re more selfreliant, they have to arrange rides to Bring in this ad for an additional 5% off visit friends. (Please present coupon before ordering) These â€œperiodic closure bombs,â€? LIKE US ON OUR NEW FACEBOOK PAGE FOR DAILY SPECIALS! she said, citing previous threats in 1997 and 2003, Specials Valid March 6 to March 10 stress the children and the entire community. Anne Raffle speaks to District 69 trustees and staff surrounded by family members The district has (from left): Jason Harknett, Serena Woolnough, Sean Woolnough, Alena Woolnough (in begun a statutory front) and Shannon Woolnough. [BRIAN WILFORD/OCEANSIDE STAR] 90-day consultation period, ending $ 100 g /lb April 29, to conto take a closer look at some of sider closing four elementaries: the assumed costs, such as a new French Creek, Qualicum Beach, roof at $345,000. Parksville and Winchelsea. Superintendent Rollie Koop District 69 has about 4,000 stusaid that while the numbers dents in 6,000 spaces and, with come from the provincial governper-student provincial funding, ment, the district does its own is looking at a perpetual annual $ 100 g /lb review and heâ€™s â€œconfidentâ€? in deficit of $3.5 million should it the accuracy of the numbers. maintain the status quo. Scott Fraser, the areaâ€™s MLA, Debra Stocker, a teacher at the said schools are closing all over school â€œfor a really long time,â€? the province because of provinsaid the trusteesâ€™ decision â€œwill cial underfunding. have a permanent, lasting effect Trustees must balance their on our community.â€? budgets or risk being â€œfiredâ€? by Grade 4 student Jada Beaman 100 g $ /lb the province, he said. said she would be â€œreally sadâ€? if However, he said, French Creek the school closes. CHECK OUT OUR NEW WEBPAGE: WEBPAGE: www.frenchcreek.ca Jada Beaman said sheâ€™ll be â€˜really is â€œa different schoolâ€? and closSchool custodian Anne Raffle sadâ€™ if the school closes. ing it might mean people wonâ€™t said, â€œWe are the only school move to the area or will move whose children are being away. removed from their community.â€? SUN-THURS SUNTHURS 9 AM-5:30 PM â€˘ FRI & SAT. 9 AM-6 PM its age, Raffle said. â€œPlease let it â€œI will do everything I can to Children from the other three not stop at 102 years old.â€? stop the decision to close this schools will go to different The school rates poorly on the school,â€? he said to applause. schools in their communities, districtâ€™s facility condition index, Trustees made few comments while children from French with deferred maintenance costs other than to thank people for Creek will go to Errington or The seafood is so FRESH, the ocean hasnâ€™t missed it yet! of $1.17 million. attending. Public comments may Qualicum Beach. 1097 Lee Rd. Parksville Store: 250-248-2888 109 Ingrid Morton challenged that be emailed to: Facilities2014@ The heritage school, opened in Located in French Creek Harbour number and asked the district sd69.bc.ca. 1912, â€œis in very good shapeâ€? for
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Woman sentenced for tax evasion A Qualicum Beach resident has been given a 12-month conditional sentence and fined $72,815 for tax evasion. Christine Giroux was sentenced Friday, Feb. 21 in Nanaimo Provincial Court after pleading guilty to one count of income-tax evasion and one count of excise-tax evasion. Giroux was ordered to serve a 12-month conditional sentence, which includes house arrest and 160 hours of community service. She was also fined $72,815, which represents the total federal income tax evaded and the total Goods and Services Tax she failed to remit. She must also, on top of the fine, repay the full amount of taxes owing, plus interest and any civil penalties assessed by the Canada Revenue Agency. A CRA news release last week said its investigators determined that Giroux, equal director and shareholder with her husband Sylvain Giroux of Lyons & Noble Developments Ltd. (LND) since at least 2006, realized taxable benefits which she failed to report on her 2006 to 2008 personal income tax returns.
Giroux, CRA says, used LND, a company which designs and builds custom homes, as a means to take personal benefits, which included construction and renovation costs for Giroux’s personal residences, hockey lessons in barter for construction services and other expenses, including a recreational watercraft and personal vacations. By claiming these benefits as legitimate expenses of other clients or of the corporation, CRA says, Giroux failed to report $308,142 in taxable income for the 2006 to 2008 taxation years, evading $69,927 in federal income tax. Giroux also failed to collect and remit $2,888 of GST. A CRA spokeswoman said that privacy considerations prevent it from commenting on whether any action is pending involving Sylvain Giroux. An online search of court records found no case in process against him. The CRA says that taxpayers who have not filed returns for previous years, or who have not reported all of their income, can still voluntarily correct their tax affairs. They may only have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest. See: www.cra.gc.ca.
|| OCEANSIDE STAR || 7
“I am searching for Margaret Nielsen born in 1926 in the UK, and who may be living near Qualicum Beach. I have important information to pass on to her. Ms. Nielsen also has a sister named Winifred. I can be contacted directly at 514-508-1110. Thank you,-Maria Klironomos, Health and Social Services, province of Quebec”
Task force hoping to keep coordinator The Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness is hoping to keep coordinator Sarah Poole for another year. Poole was hired last September using a one-time grant from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to do a need-gap analysis. The money runs out this month. Qualicum Beach council voted Monday to support an application for funding to keep her on.
Phase 2 of apartments approved Qualicum Beach council Monday approved a larger second phase of the Taylor Ridge apartment project on Garrett Road. The developer has sold all four units in the first phase and sought approval to start a second building with six units instead of the four originally approved.
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Low enrolment cancels fire camp The Qualicum Beach Fire Department has cancelled this year’s youth fire camp “due to low enrolment,” Chief Darryl Kohse told council Monday. The department may go to holding the camp every second year instead of every year, he said.
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The Burnham Road view of the College Heights condominium project. [PAT JACOBSON PHOTO]
College Inn condos not what residents expected Remedial work demanded on ‘eyesore’ BRIAN WILFORD OCEANSIDE STAR
t may have been approved four years ago but the College Heights condominium project on the Qualicum Heritage Inn site proved Monday it can still pack the council chambers. With the first phase well underway, the developer was asking to postpone rehabilitating the heritage building at the heart of the project until the second phase. Burnham Road resident Pat Jacobson, backed by about 50 area residents with an interest in the project, used the occasion of the application to let council know there is unhappiness with how things have unfolded, calling the situation “a new quagmire.” Trees which in architect drawings were shown masking the view of the condos have been cut down, exposing a concrete wall (the top of the underground parking) and the looming condos. The heritage building has been
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“ripped apart,” Jacobson said, and is not something anyone wants to look at. Trucks and construction material are jumbled at the end of Burnham and the view is “an eyesore,” she said. The residents of the upscale, single-family neighbourhood want the site cleaned up and the heritage building made presentable as soon as possible, she said, not in phase two. Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer said he agrees entirely with Jacobson. “It’s an eyesore right now,” he said. Coun. Dave Willie said the heritage building looks “a lot worse than I thought it was going to look” and wondered whether it was worth keeping at all. Coun. Mary Brouilette, noting that the inn has been designated a heritage building and so has to be kept, called the appearance of the construction site “unconscionable” and demanded remedial work. Council voted to require the developer to fix up the outside of the heritage building in the first phase and allowed the inside to be fixed up in the second. That means the exterior will be fixed up and then the building will be lifted and moved onto a foundation. With the addition of balconies, dormers and an eleva-
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tor, little of the original building will remain. The developer also sought to get out of an agreement to build the condos to a LEED Silver environmental standard. Planning director Luke Sales said the first phase was not built to that standard but the town has little ability to remedy that. The developer proposed building the remainder of the condos to what Sales called a “not as stringent” Built Green standard, this time with the town holding a sizeable irrevocable letter of credit in case that standard isn’t met. Coun. Scott Tanner sought to hold the developer to an LEEDstandard equivalency but a majority of council voted for Built Green and a letter of credit. Developer Dean Pomeroy told council the Built Green standards are in some ways “more stringent” than some LEED standards. Pomeroy said he would prefer not to do the project in phases, since that costs more money, but the sales aren’t there to build it all at once. Burnham Road will be put back the way it was, he said, minus the trees (which were cut as per agreement with the town for a storm-sewer upgrade) and agreed to hold a neighbourhood meeting on the project.
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|| OCEANSIDE STAR || 9
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10 || OCEANSIDE STAR || THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Opinion We want to hear from you. Send your letters to email@example.com or call 250-954-0600
Oceanside Star A division of the Vancouver Island Newspaper Group Limited Partnership
Contact Us: 120-425 Stanford Ave. Parksville, B.C., V9P 2N4 Phone: 250-954-0600 Fax: 250-954-0601 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Classifieds/Obituaries: 1-866-415-9169 email@example.com Publisher Hugh Nicholson 250-954-0600, ext. 201 hnicholson@GlacierMedia.ca General Manager Judi Thompson, ext. 205 250-954-0600 firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Brian Wilford 250-954-0600, ext. 211 email@example.com Reporter Julie Bertrand 250-954-0600, ext. 209 firstname.lastname@example.org Circulation Manager John Sloan 250-954-0600, ext. 207 email@example.com Account Executive Tom Eardley 250-954-0600, ext. 202 firstname.lastname@example.org Account Executive Jan Spink 250-954-0600, ext. 204 email@example.com
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Several options for a net-zero tax increase A
s budget deliberations continue, it’s time to speak up about what our local governments should or should not have in their forecasts for fiscal 2014. It is entirely possible that every municipal and regional district could start with a ‘net zero’ tax increase each year. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Penticton did so, twice, and then-mayor (and now MLA) Dan Ashton was the first mayor to be re-elected in the Okanagan city in 15 years. It was a bold promise,
and he kept it. There’s no reason why it can’t be done here. It would be the job of the mayor and council to mandate staff to come up with net-zero budgets. Otherwise, staff will predictably bring in increased residential taxes and suggest there’s no way they could find their way to a net zero. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has come up with some suggestions in what they call ‘The Beggar’s Checklist.’ Over the next weeks, we’ll dig into each of the 10 aspects of the
Checklist, which is chock full of ideas and opportunities to keep civic taxes low. One idea is to bring salaries and benefits in line with the private sector. With union contracts, it will be tough to make headway but, in 2008, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business noted municipalities had an 11.2 per cent wage and salary advantage over private sector workers — 35.9 per cent once benefits and pension plans are included. Others opportunities include: contracting out services; using
public-private partnerships for capital projects; selling surplus land and assets; converting services to user fees; seeking volunteers for the delivery of city services; refocusing activities on core services; sponsorship activities such as putting company names on public facilities; partnering with other governments for service delivery; and using new technology to reduce costs. Plenty of good ideas here, and any combination should make net-zero tax increases realistic.
Ridiculous to wish for a timely tanker accident
cards into the ocean to allegedly track any possible future oil spill. Of course, this practise has already been called a publicity stunt in the Times Colonist, as many of the bits of plywood coated in toxic paint and glue would be ingested by sea life, and may eventually end up in the salmon on the scribbler’s dinner plate. As for the hypothetical musing about carcinogens becoming airborne from any separated bitumen dilutant, there is probably equal risk every time we venture near a gas pump and lift the pistola to fill our tank. Bernie Smith, Parksville
VANCOUVER ISLAND NEWS GROUP
>>Your Letters // email: firstname.lastname@example.org Federal largesse came from gutting DFO In MP James Lunney’s advertisement for the super-duperpositive amount of $ help provided by the Harper government, he failed to also list where they got the money from. Closing down seven Department of Fisheries and Oceans data libraries across the country. No copies made; just dumped. Years and years of scientific findings thrown away. I wonder where the Conservatives got the $540 million to spend on advertising themselves to all of Canada? Maybe from the slashed funding by cutting hundreds of jobs at DFO including researchers, scientists, biologists and chemists. Harper does not like real science it seems. Funding cut to the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Lab. The closing of the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences and, my favorite for Vancouver Islanders: the elimination of the Ocean Contaminants and Marine Toxicology Program. Thanks to Mr. Lunney and his government, they have sold out real science for science fiction. Len Walker, Bowser
MP failed to stand up to Harper’s program cuts After reading James Lunney’s letter in the Oceanside Star, I found it necessary to express profound disappointment in his continued rant of support for his federal government. Even backbenchers get a vote, you know. How dare this Member of Parliament stand up and claim the great things put forth by his leader Stephen Harper for those of us living on Vancouver Island. Did he stand up to any action taken to reduce either the Department of Fisheries and
Oceans or Environment Canada managing our environmental future? He should ask about acidification of our oceans as DFO melts away like our scallop shells. Has he voted against any bill submitted by his party? Our Coast Guard is down to senior volunteers and what is left of DFO. A million-dollar increase in funding to the Pacific Salmon Foundation, really. Isn’t that coming from the Conservation Tags we anglers buy? Increase in the veterans funeral programs, isn’t that nice. These people go to war for Canada, risking life and limb, and then are left out in the cold. And that seems to be the sum total of all the goodies. How dare Mr. Lunney treat us as ignorant children of old. We deserve better than his rhetoric and crumbs. Bob Tritschler, Parksville
Re. ‘Minor disaster might prevent a greater one’ (Feb. 20) from a venerable Errington scribbler. His letter concluded with a “hope for a minor disaster during the Kinder Morgan hearings” — a timely tanker accident to sway the minds of the decisionmakers regarding the proposed pipeline expansion from Alberta to Burnaby. Just how ridiculous is that, but it was in perfect sync with his earlier rhetoric. He praised what Andrew Weaver said while visiting Parksville last year, but failed to mention that the Green Party MLA and Nobel Laureate has since flip-flopped by declaring himself a pragmatist, and now backs the oil refinery proposal of David Black. Before that faux pas, more laudatory comments about the Raincoast Conservation Foundation ditching thousands of drift
The Oceanside Star welcomes letters to the editor but we reserve the right to edit for clarity, taste, legality and length. Submissions must include hometown and a daytime phone number for verification purposes only. Letters must include your first (or two initials) and last name. For best results, email your submission to email@example.com
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
|| OCEANSIDE STAR || 11
Some people should stick to writing comedy Neil Horner Horner’s Corner
lied to you. Flush with the triumph of my anti-leaving-the-poo-bags campaign last week, I promised to step things up a couple of notches and give advice on how we can prevent the upcoming Permian-style mass-extinction. Well, I’m not. We can’t avoid it because it has already begun. The Permian extinction, some 252 million years ago, saw the death of 96 per cent of all life in the oceans and 70 per cent of life on land in what is known as The Great Dying. Caused by the eruption of supervolcanoes in what is now Siberia, The Great Dying took about 96,000 years as the oceans acidified and the air became choked with climatechanging carbon dioxide. That’s why we don’t see sail-backed dimetrodons roaming the swamps anymore. The way we’re going, the upcoming anthropocene (human-caused) extinction isn’t going to take nearly that long, as the air once again fills up with carbon dioxide and the seas
acidify. If the scallops and oysters in the Strait of Georgia are dying because of the acidifying water, so might a whole lot of other creatures that use calcium – including plankton, the base of the food chain. Scientists have pegged the current extinction rate at between 1,000 and 10,000 times what they consider natural. Yet even as the jet stream wobbles and the stable weather patterns go haywire, there are those who deny anything is happening. Instead of mobilizing to save humanity, we mobilize for war. Instead of focusing on survival, we focus on the latest entertainers and sports heroes or the current political scandal. But don’t despair. Just because we’re soon to disappear into the well of time doesn’t mean there isn’t meaningful action we can take before we do. I would suggest two projects for humanity that could well prove to be the most meaningful of all. First, I suggest we phase out every nuclear power plant. That way, whatever life forms come after us will have a chance to evolve without hundreds of abandoned facilities spewing radioactive poison around the globe. Second, we need to figure out a way to make a memorial to our civilization – something that can
last millions of years. That way, we can show whatever intelligence comes after us that yes, we ruined our planet, but we were also a high culture with much that was beautiful. That would be difficult. The pyramids are only a few thousand years old and many of them
are little more than rubble. Perhaps something made of titanium — on the moon? Pretty grim, eh? Well that’s what you get for trying to get a humour writer to get all issue-y in his column. All of us clowns are crying on the inside and that’s a dam you really don’t
want to break. Tell you what. How about I just come up with my own ideas from now on? After all, wouldn’t you rather read something like: A funny thing happened on the way to the bathroom? Neil Horner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Community Non-Proﬁt Volunteer Association
Walk Safe Walking is one of the best ways to stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle. More than ever, people are getting out to enjoy a walk through our beautiful communities. It may be time to ask ourselves what we can do as pedestrians to avoid harm while walking. According to Retired RCMP officer Tim Schewe of Drivesmart BC, there are some inexpensive and easy ways to protect ourselves. Reflective material, whether it be a vest, an armband or even trim on your clothing is the first step toward becoming a safe pedestrian. No batteries are required and these reflectors don’t break, leaving you unprotected. Bright LED arm bands are another inexpensive and highly effective safety item to consider.
Remember also, when using a crosswalk, assume that drivers can’t see you. Stop at these intersections, square yourself to the crossing and ensure you have made eye contact with the stopped motorists prior to entering the roadway. For more road safety tips please visit Drivesmartbc.ca Parksville Community Policing Office 100 E. Jensen Street Parksville Tel. 250-954-2223 Fax 250-954-0410
Qualicum Beach Community Policing Office #104 – 660 Primrose Road Qualicum Beach Tel. 250-752-2949 Fax 250-752-2947
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12 || OCEANSIDE STAR || THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014 SERVICE
SOS honoured by PM’s Volunteer Award ‘A model of success,’ Lunney says
he Society of Organized Services was honoured for service to the community last Thursday at a special ceremony in Toronto where it received the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award. The award, in the Social Innovator category, was accepted by board chairman Cory McIntosh, with executive director Renate Sutherland and NanaimoAlberni MP James Lunney also in attendance. “SOS has been meeting needs in the Oceanside Area for more than 45 years,” Lunney said in a news release. “It’s a hub of activity concentrating volunteer energies into community impact on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens.” The Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards are designed to encourage volunteerism. “Volunteers are the heart of every successful community,” Lunney said. “SOS has grown
Recipients and dignitaries pose for the official photo during the second-annual Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards evening in Toronto. NanaimoAlberni MP James Lunney and SOS board chairman Cory McIntosh are third and fourth from the left respectively [GOVERNMENT OF CANADA PHOTO] into a model of success that is impacting other communities on, and beyond, Vancouver Island. This is a collaborative effort we can all support and be proud of.” With over 350 volunteers, SOS contributes to over 30 programs such as Meals on Wheels, Medical Appointment Transportation Service, help with Income Tax returns, After School Education Assistance, Recreation Assistance for Children & Youth and
Caring for Kids at Christmas. SOS provides a Safe Cars for Kids program to offer safetyrelated vehicle repairs to lowincome individuals. It is also the regional coordinator for the Extreme Weather Centre and co-chaired the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness. They provide personal growth programs to men, women and couples, counselling referrals, self-help groups, and hardship
emergency support and referral. Volunteers are also trained to staff the Haven House hotline. Recently, the SOS partnered with Haven House in a $200,000 campaign to open a transition house in Oceanside. The house serves women and their children from Nanoose Bay to Bowser. In partnership with United Way and the provincial government, a new program called Better at Home has been added, which
assists seniors with non-medical services such as grocery shopping, light housekeeping and snow removal, while giving seniors the freedom to stay in their own homes. The SOS Thrift shop, supported generously by thousands of area residents, is staffed by volunteers and generates income combined with donations from individuals, businesses, service clubs and fundraising activities.
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
|| OCEANSIDE STAR || 13
www.OceansideStar.com Janice Hehr, AMP Purchases, New Construction, Renewals, Reﬁnances. Revenue Properties
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• Mountain • Road • Hybrid • BMX • New & Used Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek poses with a garbage can lid painted by students in Jodi Waters’ Grade 4-5 class at Arrowview Elementary. The students undertook a Shoreline Solutions project aimed at cleaning up and beautifying the waterfront area. One idea they had is that the town’s grey lids aren’t visible enough and painted ones would stand out better. They presented their project and the lid, which has messages from the students around the rim, to the mayor Monday. Once a protective coating is sprayed on the lid it will appear on a garbage can likely by The Beach Hut. [BRIAN WILFORD/OCEANSIDE STAR]
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Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek and Quality Foods partner John Briuolo prepare to cut the cake marking the 10th anniversary of the Qualicum Beach Seniors’ Activity Centre. On Saturday, seniors packed the facility underneath Qualicum Foods for the occasion. Member Ed Burnett thanked Westbroek, Briuolo and fellow Quality Foods partner Ken Schley for their efforts in establishing the centre, which provides year-round programs and activities to meet the recreational, cultural and social needs of seniors. [BRIAN WILFORD/OCEANSIDE STAR]
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14 || OCEANSIDE STAR || THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Common fungus killing eagles in poor health Sylvia Campbell Wild & Free
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sub-adult eagle was captured from the Englishman River Park when a hiker found it unable to fly in the bush and called for help. NIWRA staff hiked back in to where the hiker had last seen it and were able to capture it. The young bird was very thin and sounded like it had a respiratory infection. Staff did X-rays and nothing was broken to explain the lack of flying, so likely it was due to poor body condition and the respiratory problem. X-rays were sent off to our veterinarian, Dr. Malcolm McAdie, to get his opinion and treatment ideas. For now the bird is being housed away from others in a heated indoor room. A common respiratory disease we find often in eagles is Aspergillosis, an infection by the fungus Aspergillus. Although it can be found in the environment and in most healthy birds, it can make its way into the lungs and sacs of birds. In a healthy bird, this is not problematic but, if the bird is sick or is exposed to massive doses of the spores, it may develop into Aspergillosis. Symptoms include lack of energy, decreased appetite, lethargy, weight loss and shortness of breath. It may also include increased respiratory rate, openmouth breathing and a â€˜barkingâ€™ or loud respiratory breathing.
This young eagle may have Aspergillosis, a fungal infection affecting the lungs. NIWRA staffer Cory Gardner is preparing the eagle for an X-ray. It may spread to other organs by traveling through the bloodstream, causing diarrhea, regurgitation or neurological signs, such as tremors or weakness. The wings may begin to droop due to damage to air sacs near the shoulder. X-rays will help in the diagnosis of this bird as signs of changes in the lungs, air case or other parts of the body will become evident. Aspergillosis can be treated with a combination of anti-fungal medication and rehabilitative care. Most such birds admitted to the centre have been sick for several weeks and their prognosis could be poor.
Aspergillosis is not contagious and a normal, healthy person does not need to worry about becoming infected. Aspergillus spores are in the environment and will likely be breathed in at some point, but they rarely cause disease. We are hopeful that this bird will regain its health. If you would like to help the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, please go to the Natureâ€™s Bounty website www.sharethebounty.ca and vote for a potential donation of $15,000. The centre opens March 10 for public viewing. See www.niwra.org.
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ON NOW AT YOUR BC GMC DEALERS. BCGMCDEALERS.CA 1-800-GM-DRIVE. GMC is a brand of General Motors of Canada. * Offers apply to the lease of a new or demonstrator 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Double Cab 4x4 (1SA/G80/B30). Freight ($1,650) and PDI included. License, insurance, registration, PPSA, administration fees and taxes not included. Dealers are free to set individual prices. Offers apply to qualified retail customers in BC GMC Dealer Marketing Association area only. Dealer order or trade may be required. †* The Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) comprises professional journalists, photographers specializing in cars and trucks. They provide unbiased opinions of new vehicles to help consumers make better purchases that are right for them. For more information visit www.ajac.ca. ^ 2014 Sierra 1500 with the available 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission has a fuel-consumption rating of 13.0L/100 km city and 8.7L/100 km hwy 2WD and 13.3L/100 km city and 9.0L/100 km hwy 4WD. Fuel consumption based on GM testing in accordance with approved Transport Canada test methods. Your actual fuel consumption may vary. Competitive fuel consumption ratings based on Natural Resources Canada’s 2013 Fuel Consumption Guide for WardsAuto.com 2013 Large Pickup segment and latest available information at the time of posting. **When equipped with available 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine. Comparison based on wardsauto.com 2013 Large Light-Duty Pickup segment and latest competitive data available. Excludes other GM vehicles. † Comparison based on wardsauto.com 2013 Large Pickup segment and latest competitive data available. Excludes other GM vehicles. †† The 2-Year Scheduled Lube-Oil-Filter Maintenance Program provides eligible customers in Canada, who have purchased, leased or financed a new eligible 2014 MY Sierra with an ACDelco oil and filter change, in accordance with the oil life monitoring system and the Owner’s Manual, for 2 years or 40,000 KMs, whichever occurs first, with a limit of four (4) Lube-Oil-Filter services in total, performed at participating GM Dealers. Fluid top offs, inspections, tire rotations, wheel alignments and balancing, etc. are not covered. This offer may not be redeemed for cash and may not be combined with certain other consumer incentives available on GM vehicles. General Motors of Canada Limited reserves the right to amend or terminate this offer, in whole or in part, at any time without prior notice. Additional conditions and limitations apply. See dealer for details. + Whichever comes first. See dealer for conditions and limited warranty details. ‡ 0% for 36 month lease available on all 2014 Sierra 1500 Regular/Double/Crew Cabs. Sample lease payments based on 36-month lease of 2014 Sierra Double Cab 4x4 1SA + G80 + B30 on approved credit by GM Financial. Tax, license, insurance, registration, applicable provincial fees, and optional equipment extra. Annual kilometre limit of 20,000 km, $0.16 per excess kilometre. Monthly payments may vary depending on down payment/trade. Example: Sierra Double Cab 4x4 1SA + G80 + B30 including Freight and Air Tax is $30,488 at 0% APR, $1,075 Down payment, Bi-Weekly payment is $139 for 36 months. Total obligation is $11,951, plus applicable taxes. Option to purchase at lease end is $18,538. ¥¥ 0% Purchase financing offered on approved credit by RBC Royal Bank/TD Auto Financing/Scotiabank for 48 months on new or demonstrator 2014 Sierra 1500. Example: $10,000 at 0% APR, the monthly payment is $208 for 48 months. Cost of borrowing is $0, total obligation is $10,000. Offer is unconditionally interest-free. ¥ $4,250 manufacturer to dealer delivery credit has been applied to the purchase, finance and lease offers of 2014 Sierra 1500 Double 4x4 1SA, and is applicable to retail customers only. $500 package credits for non-PDU models. Other credits available on select Sierra models. Offer ends March 31, 2014. ‡‡ Offer applies to eligible current owners or lessees of any model year 1999 or newer pick-up truck that has been registered and insured in Canada in the customer’s name for the previous consecutive six (6) months. Credit valid towards the retail purchase or lease of one eligible 2013 Chevrolet Silverado, Avalanche, GMC Sierra or 2014 MY Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra or 2015 MY Chevrolet Silverado HD or GMC Sierra HD delivered in Canada between March 1, 2014 and March 31, 2014. Credit is a manufacturer to consumer incentive (tax inclusive). Offer is transferable to a family member living within the same household (proof of address required). As part of the transaction, dealer may request documentation and contact General Motors of Canada Limited (GMCL) to verify eligibility. This offer may not be redeemed for cash and may not be combined with certain other consumer incentives. Certain limitations or conditions apply. Void where prohibited. See your GMCL dealer for details. GMCL reserves the right to amend or terminate offers for any reason in whole or in part at any time without prior notice. XRetail and basic fleet customers who purchase or lease an eligible Chevrolet, Buick or GMC delivered from dealer stock between March 1, 2014 and March 31, 2014 will receive one 40¢ savings per litre fuel card (fuel savings card) upon payment of an additional $.01. Cards valid as of 72 hours after delivery. Fuel savings card valid for 800 litres of fuel purchased from participating Petro-Canada retail locations (and other approved North Atlantic Petroleum locations in Newfoundland) and not redeemable for cash except where required by law. GM is not responsible for cards that are lost, stolen or damaged. GM reserves the right to amend or terminate this offer and/or the program for any reason in whole or in part at any time without notice. Petro-Canada is a Suncor Energy business™ Trademark of Suncor Energy Inc. Used under licence. Cards are property of Suncor Energy. To protect your card balance, register online at www.petro-canada.ca/preferred today.
NEWS THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
BRIAN WILFORD OCEANSIDE STAR
A drawing of the future Qualicum Beach fire hall site at Rupert Road and Memorial Avenue showing the proposed park swap.
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site bordering Rupert. The Registrar of Land Titles can just approve the swap, Sales said, but that exposes the town to legal challenges. He said there have been “enquiries about species at risk,” not that there are any. As a result, council voted Monday to launch a 30-day alternativeapproval process ending April 14. If 10 per cent of eligible voters (about 750 people) fill out a form during that time, the parkland swap will have to be put to a
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Town wants to swap parkland referendum. Coun. Mary Brouilette wondered at the expense but Sales said a legal challenge would be more expensive, win or lose, and hold up the project for a considerable time. “It’s just a precaution,” he said. “If we can count the number of negative responses on one hand, it will be a success.” A public information meeting on the land swap will be held Thursday, March 20, 7 p.m., at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.
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16 || OCEANSIDE STAR || THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Complaint leads to change at health centre BRIAN WILFORD OCEANSIDE STAR
nn Bennett thought she had bronchitis last week. The Errington woman called her doctor in Nanaimo but the doctor was away, so the office suggested she try urgent care at the Oceanside Health Centre. She arrived Monday at 8:45 a.m. and followed the directions of a sign telling her to sit down and wait for someone to come to her.
There were three other people waiting and three young people chatting behind a counter. “They didn’t look like they were nurses,” Bennett says. They waited and waited for someone to come to them. One man, seeming a little agitated, got up and left. “I was getting madder and madder,” Bennett says. “Three-quarters of an hour is a long time to wait when you’re just sitting
there doing nothing.” Eventually, she too left. When she got home, she called Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell’s office. They told her to call Island Health. She says a man at Island Health told her it was her word against theirs since she had failed to register. “Of course I didn’t register,” she says. “No one came over to me.”
She contacted the Premier’s office and then the newspaper. “What if somebody had a heart attack?” Bennett says. “I don’t know what they mean by urgent care. Urgent is fast. This certainly wasn’t urgent care.” Valerie Wilson, manager of communications and public relations for Island Health, said Tuesday they are “sorry this individual did not have a good experience” at the urgent care.
The sign is being changed, she said, and clients will now be directed to the urgent-care check-in desk on arrival. Anyone in the waiting area who is experiencing chest pain or bleeding or whose symptoms worsen should let urgent care staff know immediately, she said. People who are concerned about their experience or the care they receive at the OHC, she said, should call the OHC at 250-951-9550.
QUALICUM BEACH STREAMKEEPERS JEWELLERS SINCE 1985
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2014 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Saturday, March 8th, 2014 10:00am to Noon Doors open at 9:30am ROTARY HALL 211 West Fern Rd, Qualicum Beach GUEST SPEAKER Alison Millham, Specialist Coastal Invasive Species Committee
Topic: “Alien Invasive Plants”
Info at: www.qbstreamkeepers.ca
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Real estate activity picks up A total of 282 single-family homes sold on the MLS system in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board area last month, a 24% increase over the 228 sales recorded in February 2013 and up significantly from January with 212 sales. “Over the past few months, we have witnessed strong year-overyear percentage gains in terms of unit sales,” VIREB president Blair Herbert said in a news
release Monday. “However, it is important to note that last year marked a cyclical low in sales activity, so our numbers are not trending as high as they may appear. “That being said, when looking at our sales figures over a longer period of time, our activity is close to reaching the 10-year average, so things are definitely moving in the right direction in terms of achieving balanced
market conditions.” The benchmark price for a single-family home in Parksville-Qualicum was $346,500, up 2.63 per cent from last year; the Campbell River area was $265,400, up 7.2 per cent; the Comox Valley was $317,700, up 1.33 per cent; Duncan was $273,200, down 2.63 per cent; Nanaimo was $328,900, up 1.38 per cent; Port Alberni was $193,400, up 5.07 per cent.
Nanaimo hospital gets new CT scanner Funding for a new, $2.7 million Computerized Tomography scanner at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital has been given preliminary approval by the Regional District of Nanaimo. According to Island Health, the current 12-year-old CT scanner is the oldest and slowest on Vancou-
ver Island and must be replaced. The Nanaimo Regional Hospital District Select Committee agreed on Tuesday last week to cost-share 40 per cent, or approximately $1.1 million, of the new machine. The CT scanner, along with a number of other proposed hospital upgrades for the next
few years, will go to a Nanaimo Regional Hospital District board meeting for final approval at the end of March. The new scanner would mean less radiation exposure, fewer equipment breakdowns and sharper, faster images.. VING News Service
DOUBLE LIFE The Life & Times of E. Pauline Johnson Created & performed by Margaret Murphy With music by Sue Averill In honour of
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Sunday, March 9, 2014, 1:00pm Parksville Community Conference Centre
Hosted by Canadian Federation of University Women Parksville/Qualicum
Parksville #104-191 Jensen Ave. East 250-586-2950 Nanaimo #2-4180 Island Hwy. North 250.585.2950
Admission by Donation to support club projects.
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Door-to-door salesman wouldn’t go, woman says JULIE BERTRAND OCEANSIDE STAR
Parksville woman no longer feels safe in her home following a visit from a door-to-door sales company last week. The woman in her fifties, who asked to remain anonymous, wants to warn Oceanside residents about the sales tactics of Advanced Air Supply, a Victoria-based company that sells air purifiers and vacuum cleaners. “I’m not clueless,” she said. “If I got sucked into this, I can only imagine how many other victims there are on Vancouver Island.” Earlier this month the woman was asked to participate in a phone survey on air quality in Parksville. After completing the quick survey, the woman was told she had won a prize. However, to get the prize, she would have to agree to an air purification demonstration in her home, which was scheduled for Feb. 19. “That’s how they get into your house,” she said. She started having misgivings when she saw the salesman walking to her door carrying many boxes. Her unease increased when the salesman turned down her request to do the demonstration in her kitchen, saying he would do it in the living room because he needed
a carpet. “He said I had a nice house and asked if I lived alone,” she said. “I told him: Never mind with the personal questions, do your demonstration.” The salesman made comments about items in the home, such as an iPad. The woman said it was almost as if the salesman was spotting items. After demonstrating an air purifier, the salesman pulled out a vacuum cleaner from a box. The woman pointed out that she hadn’t signed up for a vacuum cleaner demonstration. The salesman said it was part of his job and he needed to do it to be paid and to care for his one-year-old son. The demonstration lasted more than an hour and a half. The woman said she repeatedly asked the salesman to pick up his things and leave. At one point, the salesman asked to use her phone to call his boss and came back saying he needed another 10 minutes. “He was really manipulative,” she said. “He disregarded my requests to leave.” The woman unplugged the air purifier and vacuum cleaner to send a message but the salesman just plugged them back in. “I had to get really upset and mean for him to leave,” she said.
She denied his request to call his boss again to come pick him up and did it herself. A vehicle came in less than 15 minutes but it was parked in such a way that she couldn’t see a company name or the licence plate. After the salesman left, the woman started feeling badly about her behaviour. “I thought I was just being paranoid,” she said. She looked up the company on the internet and found negative comments on several websites, including Google reviews and the Better Business Bureau. The woman called the RCMP and the City of Parksville to complain. Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman confirmed the detachment has received a complaint. City bylaw compliance officer Aaron Dawson said the city has received a complaint and it is under investigation. “We’ll see where it goes,” he said. The city’s business licence bylaw does not allow canvassing, soliciting or surveying on the streets, Dawson said. Calls made to Advanced Air Supply were not returned. Since the demonstration, the woman said she blocks her front door with furniture before going to bed at night. “Once somebody says no, that should be it,” she said.
Natural gas rate may drop 25% over three years Residential and commercial natural gas customers on Vancouver Island could see rate cuts of 25 per cent over three years after the B.C. Utilities Commission overturned its decision on Fortis B.C.’s bid for amalgamation and a common gas rate for the province. Lower rates for the Island will be balanced by higher rates elsewhere in B.C. In a decision
released last week, the commission said it has determined that allowing Fortis to combine FortisBC Energy, FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) and FortisBC Energy (Whistler) is in the public interest, and that a common rate charged by the resulting single entity will mean rate stability for the majority of ratepayers. The commission also ruled the new rates would be phased-in
Skin Laser Clinic Dr. Dan Marwood is part of the professional team at Adora Skin Laser Clinic. He brings with him a background in Family Medicine as well as his expertise as an ER Physician. An experienced physician provides ﬂawless, professional and virtually painless Botox and Juvederm injections. Botox is used to treat many age related symptoms such as frown lines and crows feet around the eyes, bunny lines around the nose, turkey neck and smoker’s lines around the mouth. Dr. Dan Marwood Juvederm ﬁller replenishes volume to help smooth wrinkles. Common areas for Juvederm are cheeks, nasalabial lines, lip lines etc. Dr. Marwood’s approach with cosmetic injectables is to start conservatively. The results should be subtle and look natural. Dr. Marwood also provides and supervises Sclerotherapy treatments for unsightly spider veins. “LATISSE” is a new product, which lengthens, thickens and darkens the eyelashes. Call today to book your consultation with Dr. Dan Marwood. Phone 250-390-1160. Adora Skin Laser Clinic is located in the Canadian Tire Plaza. www.skinlaserclinic.ca
over three years for all customers. In previous interviews, Fortis has said Island customers pay about 20 per cent more than the rest of B.C. for natural gas, and that by establishing one rate, the Island would eventually see a significant rate cut, in the range of 25 per cent.
|| OCEANSIDE STAR || 17
KIDS COOKING CLASS
Children ages 10 – 13 Learn basic cooking skills & how to prepare a variety of recipes. 4 students per class
6 classes starting Saturday, March 22nd Cost
15000 per student
220 W. Island Hwy. Parksville Call to register 250-586-5500
MONEY MATTERS Carol Plaisier, CFP ®, FMA Investment Advisor
First-Time Homebuyer? A key tax credit is still available! If you’re buying your ﬁrst home, take advantage of the Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC). The credit is designed to assist ﬁrst-time home buyers with the extra costs associated with buying a home, like legal fees, disbursements and land transfer taxes. The $5,000 nonrefundable HBTC amount provides up to $750 in federal tax relief. You qualify if neither you nor your spouse (or common-law partner) have owned and lived in another home in the year of purchase or for the preceding four years*. If you have a disability – or are purchasing the home for a relative with a disability – you may also qualify for the program, even if you are not a ﬁrst-time buyer. Special rules apply for the purchase of homes that are more accessible or better suited to the personal needs and care of an individual who is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. A qualifying home is one considered to be a housing unit in Canada that the individual or spouse plans to occupy as their principal residence, no later than one year after purchase. *For more information, visit the Action Plan website at www.actionplan.gc.ca/en/initiative/ﬁrst-time-homebuyers-tax-credit *E & OE
SPCA Pet of the Week DIESEL is a 2 yr old energetic fella who would suit an active home with older children. To meet him, please visit the SPCA shelter located at 1565 Alberni Hwy, Errington or call (250) 2483811 for more info.
It can pay to book an appointment with a mortgage professional, to have a quick look at where your money is going, discuss what interest rates are up to, and determine if you are getting the most use out of your mortgage features.
For further information, Carol Plaisier, AMP, Mortgage specialist with Invis, can be reached at the HollisWealth ofﬁce in Parksville
(250) 248-5997 or by email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.carolplaisier.com This article was prepared solely by Carol Plaisier who is a registered representative of HollisWealth™ (a division of Scotia Capital Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada). The views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this article are those of Carol Plaisier alone and not those of HollisWealth. ™Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license. HollisWealth and the Scotiabank companies do not provide income tax preparation services nor do they supervise or review other persons who may provide such services.
587 Alberni Hwy., Parksville 250-248-3243
174 Morison Ave. W., Parksville 250-248-2399
18 || OCEANSIDE STAR || THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
At Your Service
Family Dentistry New Patients Welcome! Dr. Denny B. Essig DMD 175 Corﬁeld Street Parksville, BC (Across from Corﬁeld Plaza)
The Amazing Hair Studio Barber & Stylist Services
Ron & Jo-Anne Yates Our family has proudly served the Oceanside communities since 1998. We believe in providing the highest level of service in a professional and affordable manner, without compromising our commitment to reliable and respectful service to our families
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Thank you to everyone who has helped my business succeed over the past 4 years. I really appreciate your decision to shop locally. I value every one of my customers as you are the reason my door is open. Please call to book your appointment between TuesdaySaturday. I am open later on Tuesday and Thursday for your convenience. March is shaping up to be an exciting month. The last two weekends of the month, I will be attending the spring cutting/coloring trend workshops. I look forward to sharing the new ideas with you soon. Thanks again for choosing me for your hair needs.
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BY APPOINTMENT. Bring in a donation for the Food Bank & enter to win a FREE cut!
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Time for a change? Granite countertops, bathroom renovations, tile showroom.
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Bring in a donation for the Food Bank & enter to win a FREE cut!
Loma Organics, Senscience, Milkshake, Kenra, Chi, Biosilk, AG, American Crew
250.586.4184 Located at French Creek Marina 1025 Lee Rd., Parksville
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THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Books from the Ukraine Melissa Legacy Good Reads
Contestants at play during last year’s Trivial Pursuit night. Judges award points for creativity.
Spend some trivial time in Qualicum Bay The BowHorneBay Community Club is hosting its sixth-annual Trivia Pursuit night Saturday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., at the Lighthouse Community Centre in Qualicum Bay. Tickets are $12 each or $60 for a team of six at the Salish Sea Market and Georgia Park Store in Bowser, at Mulberry Bush Books in Qualicum Beach and at the door. You don’t have to bring a full team as teams are made up as people arrive. Question categories include pop culture, geography, history, current events and just plain weird things. Judges award points for creativity! There’s a cash bar and appetizers are sold during the intermissions. There are team prizes, a 50-50 draw and a new-to-you bucket auction. Money raised helps offset costs for the Labour Day weekend Fall Fair. The Community Club also sponsors two scholarships at Kwalikum Secondary School. For more, see www.communityclub.ca or email Sandra Wahlgren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
always find that reading fiction about a country other than my own is a great way to get to know the people, culture and issues. With Ukraine front and centre in world news, I thought I’d highlight some notable Ukraine-themed fiction. The Blind Spy by Alex Dryden (FIC DRY), published in 2012, explores a powerful private intelligence company that overshadows the CIA. Russia’s intentions are aggressive. They want to control more of Europe. The Kremlin is threatening to invade Ukraine, a country vital to the West’s oil and gas supplies. On the ground, in the seething pit of rumour and fear that is the city of Odessa, on the shore of the Black Sea, two top secret agents are searching for ways to prevent the horrors of invasion and war. Anna Resnikov, ex KGB, and Logan Patterson must negotiate the knife-edge of diplomacy and intimidation that pervades every corner of every street, café
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The Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers annual general meeting features a presentation from Alison Millham, education and outreach specialist from the Coastal Invasive Species Committee. Millham, a founder of the CISC, will speak about the priority invasive plants in Qualicum Beach with a focus on Knotweed. Knotweed, native to Asia, can push it’s way through concrete and grow up to four centimetres a day. Its extensive root system can damage foundations, driveways, and septic systems. It out-competes native plants and overtakes shorelines and riparian areas, leading to severe bank erosion, impacting fish habitat. Learn how to identify it, why you should care, and best management practices for managing this alien invader. The AGM, open to the public, is Saturday, March 8, 10 a.m., at Rotary Hall, 211 Fern Rd. W., Qualicum Beach.
B.A., LLB., LLM
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Phone: 250-954-1445 Fax: 250-954-1430
Church Directory Sunday Services
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was born of Ukrainian parents in a refugee camp at the end of World War II and grew up in England. Researching her family roots for this novel, she uncovered three long-lost relatives. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (FIC FOE). With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man, also named Jonathan Safran Foer, sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past. The book was published in 2002. A movie adaptation followed in 2005 starring Elijah Wood. Melissa Legacy is Library Manager of the Qualicum Beach and Bowser branches of the Vancouver Island Regional Library. For more information or to request books online, go to www.virl.bc.ca.
Invasiveplant expert speaking to Streamkeepers
Karen E. Stewart
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and back ally. They need information, the gold currency of espionage. The CIA is exerting heavy muscle and MI6 is influencing hearts and minds and both have their own agendas. Are there assassins on Anna and Logan’s tail? Will they get to them before they uncover the identity of the deep throat, known as the Blind Spy, who seems to have all the answers? This is the third book in the Anna Resnikov series. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka (FIC LEW). With this wise, tender, and deeply funny novel, Lewycka shows she is a writer who can capture the unchanging verities of family. When an elderly and newly widowed Ukrainian immigrant announces his intention to remarry, his daughters must set aside their long-time feud to thwart him. Their father’s intended is a voluptuous old-country gold digger with a proclivity for green satin underwear and an appetite for the good life of the West. An entertaining story that explores Ukrainian history, World War II drama, and the classic strife between the old and the new. Lewycka
|| OCEANSIDE STAR || 19
Everyone Welcome! 187 Alberni Hwy. Parksville, B.C.
To advertise on our Church Listings please call Judi, Jan or Tom at 250-954-0600
#120 - 425 Stanford Ave. E., Parksville
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN 2 THEATRE TICKETS to
Chemainus Theatre’s “Jeeves in Bloom” Contest closes Friday, March 14, 2014 Name: ________________________ Phone: _______________
Must be 18 years or older to be eligible to win.
20 || OCEANSIDE STAR || THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
MAR. 6 ■ Parksville Newcomers Club meets 7:30 p.m., Parksville Community Centre, 132 Jensen Ave. E. Mr. Derry and Mr. Ball speak on estate planning. All welcome. ■ Coombs Old Time Fiddlers’ Dance, every Thursday, 7:30-10 p.m., Rotary House, 211 Fern Rd., Qualicum Beach. All ages welcome. $2.50 includes snack. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org; 250-586-3743. MAR. 7 ■ Stroke Recovery Association of BC, Oceanside Branch, meets Fridays, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., St. Columba Presbyterian Hall, 921 Wembley Rd., Parksville. Stroke survivors and caregivers welcome. Bring a lunch. Info: Kathleen 586-6766. ■ Qualicum Acoustic Café presents Andrews and Lawrence, a Victoria oldtime gospel duo, 7:30 p.m. (starts with open mic), Rotary House, 211 Fern Rd.W., Qualicum Beach. Tickets $5 from the Vintage Candy Shop or at the door; youth free. Info: email@example.com. MAR. 8 ■ Parksville Fraternal Order of Eagles flea market and bake sale, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Eagles Hall, 281-A Pioneer Cres., Parksville. MAR. 9 ■ Double Life, the life and times of E. Pauline Johnson, performed by Margaret Murphy with music by Sue Averill, 1 p.m., Parksville Community & Conference Centre. By donation. Sponsored by the Canadian Federation of University Women Parksville-Qualicum in honour of International Women’s Day. ■ Dances of Universal Peace, 4-5 p.m., Errington Hall. Simple, meditative, joyful circle dances
OCEANSIDE EVENTS E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
based on all the world’s spiritual traditions. All welcome. By donation. Info: email@example.com; 250-752-4816; www. islandhealing.ca. ■ Ukulele Circle meets 2:30-4 p.m. at the MAC, 133, McMillan St., Parksville. $5 at the door. Sing and strum with other ukulele players, all abilities welcome. Info: Liz Debarros 250586-5803 or parksvillecirclejam@ shaw.ca. MAR. 11 ■ Knox United Church spring lecture series, lunch 11:30 a.m., lecture noon, $10. Author Paula Wild speaks on The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild & Dangerous. The church is at 345 Pym St., Parksville; 250-248-3927; www. kucparksville.ca. ■ Qualicum Beach Garden Club meets 7 p.m., Qualicum Beach Civic Centre. Diane Sharp speaks on Spring Veggie Gardening - Now! All welcome. Info: www. qualicumbeachgardenclub.wordpress.com. ■ Dads Night Out, free hour of fun activities for dads and their kids, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Parksville Library. ■ Qualicum Beach & Area Newcomers Club meets 10:15 a.m., St. Stephen’s Church Hall, Village Way Qualicum Beach. Info: qbnewcomers.org. MAR. 12 ■ Youth (12-17) Career Night, 6-8 p.m. Free pizza and advice from The Career Centre. Preregister: 248-3252. ■ The Trouble With Tapioca:
|| OCEANSIDE STAR || 21
chaplain and columnist Ray Smit presents on his journey from childhood to middle age, 6:307:30 p.m., Parksville Library. Free. ■ New weekly Youth/Teen (1218 years) Drop-In Music Jam, 7-8 p.m., MAC, 133, McMillan St., Parksville. Free but limited to 15 participants each week. Jam leaders guide participants. Bring an instrument. Info: 250-2488185; parksvillecirclejam@shaw. ca. ■ Grief Support Group meets Wednesdays, 4-5 p.m., Knox United Church, Parksville. Have you experienced a loss of any kind? Are you alone/lonely? Be uplifted by a small group in a similar situation. Safe and confidential. Info: 250-248-3927. MAR. 13 ■ Mid Island Floral Art Club meeting on midollino and tatami techniques, 1:45 p.m., St. Stephens Church Hall, 150 Village Way, Qualicum Beach. Info: 250-937-1350. ■ Coombs Old Time Fiddlers’ Dance, every Thursday, 7:30-10 p.m., Rotary House, 211 Fern Rd., Qualicum Beach. All ages welcome. $2.50 includes snack. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org; 250-586-3743. ■ Manifesting Your Reality, transform your life along lines you truly desire, with Stephen Austen, 7 p.m., Parksville Community Centre. By donation. Shift in Action: 954-1002. ■ Afternoon tea dance, 2-5 p.m., Coombs rodeo grounds hall. Old-time country music. $5, musicians free. Info: (250) 7381661 or email@example.com. ■ Circle Jam 7-9 p.m. at the MAC, 133, McMillan St., Parksville. $5 at the door. Sing and strum, all instruments, all abilities. Info: Liz DeBarros 250-5865803 or parksvillecirclejam@ shaw.ca.
22 || OCEANSIDE STAR || THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Healthy, Fast, Japanese
LICENSED Enjoy beer or sake with your meal!
208 East Island Highway, Parksville (former Quiznos location)
Cali Roll $2.99
Bento Special $8.99
Rice Bowl (Donburi) $6.99
7.99 Party Tray from $24.00
Chicken, Beef, or Pork Teriyaki
Starting March 1st, 2014 -
Across from Beach Club. 192 West Is. Hwy. Parkville, BC
13.00 3 COURSE MENU
BLACK GOOSE INN B Beach Acres Resort, Parksville B
Tel: 250 586 1001 T
For The Month Of March, 7 Days A Week From 11-4 pm.
9 & Dine Golf Nights Starting Soon. Easter Brunch Is Just Around The Corner
HISTORIC 1921 SAMUEL MACLURE HOUSE
OPEN ws ALL DAY • Unbeatable Ocean Views • 19 UK and Draft Beers from 11:30am • Traditional British Menuu
REAL LOG FIRES
ST. PATRICKS DAY WITH US
MONDAY, MARCH 17 True Irish Beer, Great Menu and giveaways
10-2 pm on Sunday April 20th
Advertise your restaurant here.
ILL GR IN WHISKEY CREEK NEXT TO THE GAS STATION
QUALICUM BEACH MEMORIAL GOLF CLUB 469 Memorial Ave., Qualicum Beach, BC
DINE IN OR TAKE OUT
WELCOME TO THE CLUB! COME IN AND TRY OUR CLUBHOUSE SANDWICH
Soup or Salad
ENTREE & DESSERT Call for more details 250-594-1150
REGULAR PRICE WITH THIS COUPON*
*Coupon must be presented to server prior to ordering. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Limit one coupon per customer, per visit. Coupon has no cash value. Beverages and tax not included. Valid 11:30am – 3pm until March 15, 2014.
Hours: Open 9am-3pm
7 DAYS A WEEK!
3680 Alberni Hwy., Qualicum Beach h 250.752.4814 • www.cruisersgrill.ca a
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
CLUES ACROSS 1. Plural of eyrir 6. Concord 12. Photographer 16. Atomic #18 17. Tobacco cylinder 18. Of I 19. 1/10 meter (abbr.) 20. In the year of Our Lord 21. Belittle 22. 1/2 of an em 23. Equally 24. Cornmeal mush (British) 26. Desires 28. Of sound mind 30. 1st moon manâ€™s initials 31. Public broadcasting 32. Bodily cavity 34. Insecticide 35. County in China 37. Platforms 39. Frost 40. CruciďŹ x
41. Bodily faculties 43. Seladang 44. Denotes three 45. Imbibe slowly 47. Whatâ€™s left 48. Liberal degree 50. Competition 52. Confederate 54. 7th Hindu month 56. Senator Frankin 57. â€œCryingâ€? singerâ€™s initials 59. Taro root dish 60. Bahrain dinar 61. Sun god 62. 39th state 63. In a harmful way 66. Immunoglobulin (abbr.) 67. Differences 70. Moves slowly 71. Snarl, growl (var. sp.)
CLUES DOWN 1. Aviator
|| OCEANSIDE STAR || 23
2. Boutrosâ€™ group 39. About heraldry 3. Go over 41. Hair ďŹ lament 4. Be among 42. Title of respect 5. Cloth scrap 43. Hair product 6. Clerks 46. Colas 7. Vacuum tube 47. Capital of Huila, Colombia 8. Actress Blanchett 49. More diaphanous 9. Removes the lid 51. Eliminate 10. Atomic #45 53. Change to a vapor 11. Peremptorily 54. Ancient temple sanctums 12. Dishonorable men 55. Pesters 13. Spanish appetizers 58. Off-Broadway award 14. Algerian gulf & port 60. Light Russian pancake 15. Sets again 64. Baseball ofďŹ cial 25. About Freemason 65. Work unit 26. One point N of due W 68. Jr.â€™s father 27. Not happy 69. Atomic #77 29. Accumulates on the surface 31. Peels an apple THIS WEEKS SUDOKU ANSWER 33. Diamond weight unit 36. Possesses 38. Note
ARIES - Mar 21/Apr 20 Donâ€™t feel a need to take charge of others, Aries. People will respond to your cues even when such hints are subtle. Step back from the dictatorâ€™s podium. TAURUS - Apr 21/May 21 Taurus, you should be able to accomplish your objectives this week, in spite of some early distractions. Things will right themselves before long. GEMINI - May 22/Jun 21 Gemini, concern about those closest to you might be foremost on your mind this week. Shift that focus to your own life and responsibilities for the time being. CANCER - Jun 22/Jul 22 Your professional life takes precedence this week, Cancer. Allow yourself ample time to tackle all the things on your plate at the ofďŹ ce, and you will be glad you did. LEO - Jul 23/Aug 23 Use the power you have carefully, Leo. Sometimes it surprises even you just how great an impact you can make and the wide-sweeping consequences of some of your actions. VIRGO - Aug 24/Sept 22 Virgo, uncertainty about your priorities arises over the next few days. Take time to think things through, but donâ€™t be idle for too long. Do your best to stay motivated.
LIBRA - Sept 23/Oct 23 Long-term career goals are on your mind, Libra. Make time to develop a plan that can make those goals a reality. Consult with colleagues for advice or guidance. SCORPIO - Oct 24/Nov 22 Scorpio, there is always room for compromise, even when compromise seems unlikely. Donâ€™t be too quick to assume there is no room to work out an agreement. SAGITTARIUS - Nov 23/Dec 21 Your focus is at an all-time high this week, Sagittarius. Now is a good time to establish clear objectives at the workplace or for important personal matters. CAPRICORN - Dec 22/Jan 20 Friends and family bring you a sense of well-being, Capricorn. Surround yourself with plenty of people in the days to come. Open your heart, and you will get much in return. AQUARIUS - Jan 21/Feb 18 Aquarius, coworkers turn out to be a source of much-needed support when you receive some unexpected news. Thank them for their support and kind gestures. PISCES - Feb 19/Mar 20 Pisces, expect others to seek your help in the coming days. Do your best to help, and those around you will greatly appreciate it.
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24 || OCEANSIDE STAR || THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Assorted Colours 5 Stem Bunch Regular Retail: $4.99 Each
Product of Surrey, BC All Size Packages Regular Retail: $9.19–$9.49/lb, $20.26–$20.92/kg
On Sale *SA ME ITE M OF EQU LES SER VA LUE AL OR .
*S AM E IT EM OF EQ LE SS ER VA LU UA L OR E.
Delicious Dinner Shortcuts THRIFTY Kitchens
Pork Back Ribs Asian, Buffalo or Phillips Ale Fully Cooked 565g
Fresh Artisan Pork Sausages Grainy Mustard & Canadian Honey, Roasted Portabello Mushroom & Shallot, Roasted Leek & Caramelized Onions or Apple Cider & Herbs Minimum 125g Each Available at the Meat Counter.
11 varieties to choose from! 700ml
2 10 $
Avoid the mealtime crunch, fill your cart with a selection of Thrifty Kitchens favourites. Specials in Effect until Tuesday, March 11th, 2014