Breakers: timely tidbits

BREAKERS – timely tidbits and follow-ups to previously published stories:

  • Chamber of Commerce denied QB residents an all-candidates debate
  • Japanese supercomputer shows how COVID-19 droplets spread
  • Mayor Wiese blames speeding on the lack of a roundabout
  • Tide Table for the next week

Chamber of Commerce denied QB residents an all-candidates debate

The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce apparently decided that Parksville – Qualicum Beach riding residents should not have an all-candidates debate.

As reported in Nanaimo News Now, Kim Smythe the Nanaimo chamber CEO said, “We’re going to introduce some Zoom segments where people will be asking specific questions, issue-based questions so we can try and cover as much territory as possible.” Smythe said that although they would be hosting a Zoom debate allowing residents of Nanaimo area ridings to question their candidates, “resources weren’t available to conduct similar events in Parksville-Qualicum.”

Many other municipalities held virtual all-candidate debates, including Mid-Island – Pacific Rim, Comox Valley and Powell River – Sunshine Coast. Why were Qualicum Beach residents denied the same opportunity to question our candidates? And, why is Nanaimo determining what election information the citizens of Qualicum Beach will get, or will not get, prior to elections of our government representatives?

Japanese supercomputer shows how COVID-19 droplets spread

Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s provincial health officer, announced new province-wide restrictions today, October 27, 2020. Gatherings in private homes are now restricted to no more than the household members plus six other people (the household’s bubble). The people in this “safe six” bubble are not interchangeable. Dr. Henry also stated that people must now wear non-medical masks in all public places, “to protect ourselves and others,” even outdoors where there is a chance that safe social distancing cannot be maintained.

Video courtesy of CTV News Network

If you need further convincing of how easy it would be for the coronavirus to leap from anyone who is exhibiting symptoms, or anyone who is an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus, watch this computer-generated simulation from Kobe University in Kyoto, Japan showing how far droplets and aerosolized particles can travel from the human body, even when just talking in a normal voice.

Mayor Wiese blames speeding on the lack of a roundabout

In reviewing the Correspondence Log at the October 7, 2020 Regular Council meeting, Councillor Teunis Westbroek commented: “The letters we have been getting about speeding, especially on Island Highway 19A, will be recorded in the Correspondence Log, but also with a notation that they will be on the agenda for the Select Committee on Public Safety.” [discussion begins at the 23:50 mark on the meeting video] Mayor Brian Wiese then commented that: “We have numerous of those [letters]. I think the delay in the traffic circle didn’t help things.”

Three things don’t stack up here.

First, the Correspondence Log included with the October 7 meeting listed ZERO correspondence related to speeding. For the Council meeting on October 28, 2020, only ONE item dated October 5 is listed with a topic of “Speeding on 19A”. Much ado about nothing, or ?

Second, common sense. Drivers who choose to speed are not deterred by a roundabout. Why would Mayor Wiese fabricate a suggestion that the indefensible Memorial/Hwy 19A roundabout project would somehow diminish speeding along the QB Waterfront? A roundabout is not going to make irresponsible drivers obey speed limits, any more than a roundabout can protect a pedestrian who makes a mistake and walks out in front of a moving vehicle — even in circumstances where an excellent driver may be going under the speed limit, especially a vehicle travelling westbound on Hwy 19A just before sunset on a sunny day.

Third, why was the obvious question not asked by any member of Council: Why is the RCMP not doing their job, IF indeed there is some major problem with speeding at this location on Hwy 19A? According to the Town’s latest monthly financial report, Qualicum Beach residents will pay the RCMP $1,340,000 in 2020. It is presumed that the Town gets to advise the RCMP what to priorize in terms of traffic safety hot spots. So why does it take a Public Safety Committee meeting to react to such a routine matter?

Note: if you are a boater or need to know exact tides in Qualicum Beach for other reasons, the best source of tidal information is the tide chart for nearby Northwest Bay on the Canadian Hydrographic Service website.