About Us

Second Opinion QB — Our Team and Contributors

Why Second Opinion QB, and why now?

APRIL 2020 — Lately we’ve been having a lot of conversations with people that start with: “What do you think about…?,” (pick a Qualicum Beach topic) quickly followed by the reply: “What? I hadn’t heard about that.” Most QBers have a good dose of civic pride, a desire to protect the things they love about the community, and a recognition that we are not yet all we could or should be, but many residents feel starved of accurate, timely, objective information.

Hand-painted rock, artist unknown, discovered at the Qualicum Beach waterfront. April 2020

To be engaged in sustaining and enriching our community, we first need to be informed. We need to know what’s going on, what are the competing interests, what are the threats, what are our opportunities. With only a single news outlet covering our area, a colleague suggested that what Qualicum Beach really needs is a good newspaper. I think she said it with tongue in cheek, but she did plant a seed. It is spring; the seed has sprouted; and here we are.

Second Opinion QB provides a second source of news and views relevant to Qualicum Beach, to inform residents, to stimulate healthy, respectful discussion and debate, and to motivate readers to engage in the stewardship of our town.

We publish fact-based in-depth news stories, features and community perspectives that are often not available elsewhere. Second Opinion QB is not a commercial enterprise, we are a not-for-profit, community resource. Nor is Second Opinion QB affiliated with any political party, or with any special interests, persons or organizations. Our objective is to build readership and thereby encourage community engagement. — Editor

Second Opinion QB is a not-for-profit, independent online local news magazine established in April 2020 published by Lois Sampson, registered sole proprietor. EMAIL: editor@secondopinionqb.ca MAILING ADDRESS: Second Opinion QB, P.O. Box 639, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1T2.

Our Team

LJ (Lois) Sampson, Editor and Publisher

A resident of Qualicum Beach since 2005, Lois has a Journalism degree with a co-major in commerce from the University of Victoria, plus a diploma in Marketing, Design & Communications from Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. She has worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC television), as a writer and editorial assistant for special projects, and is a member of the Canadian Associations of Journalists.

Herring run season at Qualicum Beach, British Columbia April 2020

Prior to this, Lois was a principal with international business firms PriceWaterhouseCoopers and KPMG, where she earned a Certified Management Consultant designation and specialized in strategic planning and operational analysis for clients in both the public and private sectors. Lois has also been a manager with Alberta Environment, and with the BC Systems Corporation providing business systems to a wide range of BC government ministries and agencies.

Her experience as a community advocate and volunteer began as a board member for House Next Door, establishing a neighbourhood transition home in Edmonton for people being discharged from mental health institutions. At the request of the City of Edmonton, Lois led a public campaign to explore the purchase of the Edmonton Oilers in the wake of Wayne Gretzky’s trade.

That experience led to her being asked to act as campaign and communication managers for candidates of various political parties in federal, provincial and municipal elections in Alberta and BC. For the last decade, Lois worked as an elder rights advocate assisting seniors and families across Canada to navigate legal and healthcare challenges. Lois enjoys gardening, nature and animals of (almost) every stripe.

Qualicum Beach, British Columbia July 2018
Gil Sampson – Civic Affairs Analyst and Copy Editor

After graduating with a degree in Mathematics and a major in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, Gil began his career with IBM introducing new systems and technologies across municipal governments in what is now known as Metro Toronto.

Design and implementation of improved processes has been the common thread of his work across a dozen GEM (government, education, medical) enterprises, both in the private and public sectors and as an independent consultant.

Whether coaching teams in Quality Improvement, managing complex projects, or guiding organizations in strategic planning, product development and service excellence, Gil has a penchant for helping individuals, organizations and communities (and his slo-pitch team) strive to reach their potential.

Not surprising then that, now semi-retired, Gil contributes much of his volunteer time and analytical eye to helping our Qualicum Beach community progress towards a strong, sustainable future, well-served by all of its civic institutions.

Deborah Freeman — Nature and Wildlife Photographer

An accomplished, award-winning nature photographer, Deborah has published a book of photographs, poetry and prose, Song of the Sparrow – Nature Vignettes Through Lens & Thought, about her adventures exploring Vancouver Island with her partner hiking, kayaking and enjoying nature at every opportunity. She has also co-written two booklets on the healing plants of Vancouver Island (Nettles and More…).

Kasper Reist — Graphic Artist

Kasper is a young Vancouver Island artist who works exclusively in the digital realm, and enjoys collaborating with writers to augment and illustrate their stories.

Our Contributors

The following people have contributed stories and photography for publication in Second Opinion QB.

Overlooking Qualicum Beach Town Hall.

Odette Auger, Indigenous culture

Sylvia Bell, education

Barry Blair, outdoor recreation and safety

Alan Cassels, healthcare

Rachel Enns, community engagement

Daniel Herriges, housing

Meg Holden, legal

Dru Oja Jay, social media

Magda Konieczna, news media

Cara McKenna, elections

Errol Miller, transportation

Kevin Monahan, community planning

Nathan Munn, policing, social justice

Lance Nater, community engagement

Melissa Renwick, healthcare

Graham Riches, social justice

Ray Woroniak, education