Archive for the ‘SECA: A Closer Look’ Category

Check out another fantastic clip of our community and why you should vote for us at: http://www.greatplacesincanada.ca/en/place.asp?id=1023

Vote for the South End Nanaimo everyday until Sept 25th


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A Neighbourhood Association vacancy on the Nanaimo Advisory Planning Committee (APC) is currently being advertised, and we will be accepting applications until 2014-JUL-29 (see link: http://www.nanaimo.ca/assets/Whats~New/PDFs/2014/140707NanaimoAdvisoryPlanningCommitteePositions2014.pdf).

Should anyone in your area be interested, it would be greatly appreciated if you would forward this email (and attachment) to members of your neighbourhood association.

If there are any questions, I can always be reached at 250-755-4473, or at this email.


Deborah Jensen, MCIP, RPP
Community Development Planner
Community Development Division
City of Nanaimo
411 Dunsmuir Street, Nanaimo, BC
Phone (250) 755-4473    Fax (250) 755-4479



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Free Family Event! All community welcome.

Free Family Event! All community welcome.


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  1. Introductions
  2. Financial Report
  3. Recycling Depot – Old Victoria Rd
  4. Building Proposal Presentation – 253 Victoria Rd
  5. Rowe House
  6. Public Safety – RCMP report
  7. Gung Haggis Fat Choy – Review
  8. Samaritan House – Use of Vacant Lot
  9.  Constitution
    Other Business:
  10. Mining

Treasurer S. LaRoque reported the following:

  • The General account has a balance of $2,684.72 after all expenses for Gung Haggis Fat Choy
  • The Picnic account balance is $4,871.69

Presenters on behalf of The Regional Recycling Group:  Paul Shorney/Tim Waite. Debbie Jenner, City Neighbourhood Planning, was also present to address questions.
This privately owned/operated company provides facilities for public recycling.  They operate several sites on the island and in BC.  Tim presented their proposal for a new facility to serve the South End of Nanaimo.  Rezoning to Light Industrial would be required for 2 lots (1044/1048).  The proposed site on Old Victoria Road across from Petroglyph Park falls within the Chase River catchment area, they will present to those residents next week.
The facility would:

  • operate under the requirements of the Government Stewardship Program.
  • handle recyclables including Hazardous materials such as batteries, paints and solvents, electronics and glass.
  • Be open from 8:30-5:30 Mon – Sat and 10-4 on Sundays.
  • Emphasize environmentally and user-friendly construction, landscaping and traffic solutions.  Drawings and maps of the building design and landscaping were presented in support.
  • Construction would begin in May with completion by Fall 2014.

During question period, concerns were expressed regarding pollution from processing of glass and hazardous materials.  The presenters assured those present that all processing and storage would be handled indoors. Traffic concerns were also addressed, showing a minimally invasive truck and traffic route from the highway to the site.
Presenters emphasized the public-spirited nature of the company.

Gary Noble of the City Planning Department presented a revised proposal by the new owner for an 18 unit Condo or Rental development at this site. In his proposal, the new owner has tried to address community desires expressed in response to previous development submissions by the former owner(s).
The following was presented:

  • Rezoning would be required to Downtown 12/Mixed Use
  • It would be a 3-storey building at Farquhar and Victoria
  • 3 Units would access off Victoria and 15 off Farquhar
  • Each unit would be 600sq.ft.
  • There would be 1 parking space and 1 bicycle space per Unit
  • One CarShare space would be provided at the complex.
  • Architect Bill Edmunds designed the buildings to fit with local ambiance.
  • Proposed Exterior finishes incorporate Hardie Board/Craftsman  style.
  • Ground Floor windows would be Commercial Type and Grade.
  • In discussion, the Community expressed an overall positive attitude toward the proposal, but indicated a preference for owner-occupied use.

Steve Arnett gave an update on Rowe House.  He described the facility’s resident rooms and common areas. There are presently 5 residents.  The facility can accommodate 14.
Requirements for residence are:

  • between 17 and 30 yrs.
  • All residents are currently employed
  • compliance with house rules
  • The residence is currently supervised by Caseworker Linda Milford, Gord Fuller and himself.
  • No complaints from neighbours after 6 mos.
  • A Surveillance Camera System is in place and can monitored 24/7 by computer remote
  • 25 hours of direct supervision each week.
  • Stringent resident screening
  • no guests after 11pm

Reported the following policing items of interest to the community:

  • Spike in crime, due primarily to 2 individuals.
  • a Findlayson block has been a problem area/drug house
  • Residences on Nicol St. continue to experience problem calls but there is a new on-site manager.
  • A problem property was also noted at Albert/Milton for our information.
  • The Patricia site has been foreclosed on.
  • Our attention was called to changing laws regarding medicinal marijuana grow operations, liquor sales and prostitution laws.
  • The City has ordered the demolition of Manson’s Store at the corner of Farquhar and Haliburton.  The order is currently under appeal by the owner.
  • City is still considering appropriate action toward the burned-out structures on Gillespie Street.

SECA put forward proposal to print more of our brochures outlining proper procedures for reporting nuisance properties and make them available on our blog.


  • Kudos were given to Sidney and Sandra for their hard work in organizing this event.
  • Sincere thanks also went out to all the volunteers who assisted them.
  • The event was well-attended and profitable.
  • Concensus was that it should be repeated and expanded.


  • The vacant lot behind Samaritan House across from Robinson Rentals is a City Right of Way.
  • Samaritan House wishes to utilize it for overflow parking.
  • Gord Fuller and Sandra LaRoque volunteered to meet with Jack Anderson to view the lot and report their recommendation to the executive.


  • Kathryn Hazel has reviewed the Constitution and will bring comments to the executive meeting.
  • She noted that the Constitution is old (1982), needs updating which is a lengthy process.
  • We should attempt to complete it by the next AGM.


10. Mining

  • A short report was given on the contents of the City Coal Mine Map currently on display at the Museum.
  • The Map only shows mining activity to 1902 and no street overlay is provided.
  • The City’s responsibility to share the information from the current Study in Progress with affected properties was questioned.

Adjourned at 9 pm.  Next General Meeting March 5, 7pm at Princess Royal 260 Irwin St.

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Torhjelm continues to champion the wonders of city’s south end

Nanaimo resident has spent two decades promoting area in a positive light

Krista Bryce, The Daily News

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Charles Torhjelm sits in the living room of his south-Nanaimo home, surrounded by pictures, posters and newspaper clippers from the past 20 years.

The items represent two decades of passion-driven work by Torhjelm, former president of the South End Community Association, to promote the south end in a positive light.

Click on headline link to go to the rest of the article.

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SECA members took part in the Labour Day Picnic held at Transfer Beach, Ladysmith, by displaying the SECA Miners Heritage Photo Collection.  Throughout the day, there were crowds of people  examining the photos and making comments about ancestors or people they knew who had been in the mines. It was a gorgeous day and everyone had a fine time, including a number of MLA’s and City Councilors,  including Doug Routley, Leonard Krog – who MC’d – and Fred Pattje.

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New SECA Board Member Chris LoScerbo has been working on a Purchasing Policy for SECA.  Many community organizations today are establishing such policies in order to support their local neighbourhoods, keep them healthy, do business ethically, and set an example for environmental stewardship that most people support.

Here’s her draft.  If you have comments, please click on this headline (above) and the post will open, you can leave a comment.

South End Neighbourhood Association – Purchasing Policy

SECA’s Purchasing Policy is intended to encourage the purchase and use of goods, products and services that directly support SECA’s commitment to our local community involvement, social equity, and environmental stewardship in all our activities, events, and beings. Together we will continue to make choices for the better of our community and world, while helping each other learn and adapt along the way.

Guiding Principles:

As a community group who values local resources, personal health, environmental responsibility and social change we choose to:

i.        Find existing goods, products and services from our neighbours for repurposing, sharing, and finding alternative suitable solutions

ii.      To purchase from local farmers, businesses, suppliers (respectively) who are more responsible in the way that their product or service is made, used, transported, stored, packaged and disposed of.

iii.    To purchase environmentally responsible products or services from well-ranking companies (for example, as detailed in the Better World Shopping Guide)

iv.    To purchase organic, fair trade, direct trade, fair wage and/or made in Canada goods and services

Definitions and Considerations:

Life Cycle Assessment:  The comprehensive examination of a product’s environmental impacts throughout its lifetime, including new material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use, and disposal.

Environmentally Preferable Product:  A product that has a reduced negative effect or increased positive effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose.  This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, fabrication, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, and disposal of the product.  This term includes, but is not limited to, recyclable products, recycled products, and reusable products.

Recyclable Product:  A product or package made from a material for which curbside or drop-off collection systems are in place for a majority of City residents or businesses, to divert from City solid waste for use as a raw material in the manufacture of another product or the reuse of the same product.

Reusable Product:  A product that can be used several times for an intended end use before being discarded, such as a washable food or beverage container or a refillable ballpoint pen.

As consumers, we make a statement every single day
by voting with our dollars.

For further information of specific products, brands and

The Better World Shopping Guide:

“The only comprehensive guide for socially and environmentally responsible consumers available, this book ranks every product on the shelf from A to F so you can quickly tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys” — turning your grocery list into a powerful tool to change the world. Representing over 15 years of distilled research, data is organized into the most common product categories including coffee, energy bars, computers, gasoline, clothing, banks, cars, water and more.

Also included is a summary of the essential information about particular product categories, profiles of the best and worst companies, practical buying tips and the most useful online resources available. Whether you believe in environmental sustainability, human rights, animal protection, community involvement or social justice… The Better World Shopping Guide will help you change the world as you shop!”

http://betterworld shopper.com

The 20 Best Companies from the Better World Shopping Guide 2011 – Ellis Jones

Southend and downtown Nanaimo offer some wonderful examples of local driver food and good suppliers. For all purchases we contact the following stores first where applicable:

  • Bowen Road Farmers Market
    Season runs May through October, every Wednesday 4-6:30pm.
    Located on the Vancouver Island Exhibition grounds, behind Beban Park Rec Center, 2300 Bowen Road
    Contact: bowenfarmersmarket@gmail.com
  • The Green Store – Discount Organics
    Open Mon-Sat 9:30am-5:30pm; Sun 11am-5pm
    256 Wallace Street
    (250) 754-2554
  • The Old City Organics Market
    411 Fitzwilliam St
  • R-U Computing
    Open Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm
    549 Haliburton Street
    (250) 716-5725

This list is intended to be updated and completed for the most appropriate and responsible local businesses we want to support.

Policy created January, 2011

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City governments are composed of elected mayors and councils. Day to day activity involves city managers, by-law officers, city planners and other officials. In total they are a relative handful of people who have to deal, on a daily basis, with the problems, needs and desires of tens of thousands of citizens. A daunting task for sure.

This is where citizen involvement comes in. Rather than leaving everything up to city government, citizens take the initiative and try to work out the problems they face and to develop the sort of community they want to live in. In the same way when citizens take an interest in their neighborhood, the tasks of the police are lighter, allowing them to concentrate on serious crime, so too with city government. The more citizen involvement, the more the city government can concentrate on the large-scale issues.

One important form of citizen involvement is the neighborhood association. These organizations are a key component of civic democracy. As voluntary, grass roots, micro-level organizations they are aware of what is needed since the membership is living it. When an association exists, rather than neighbors suffering in silence, isolation and frustration, a forum is provided to discuss and deal with problems. Problems get worked on in the neighborhood before hand and the association can then work with and advise city government.

Every neighborhood has a wealth of people with rich life experience and skills such as organizing, speaking, writing, horticulture, music and art. A neighborhood association brings such people together and utilizes their various talents.

Having an association means a neighborhood can better cope with new problems when they arise. Ad hoc organizations are fine in some situations, but for a neighborhood it is better to have a group on the ground already. An existing group will have worked out a general approach to issues from previous experience. Without an association, overly-emotional, confrontational or NIMBY stances to new problems are more likely to occur.

As a neighborhood organization, the association is also more than just an advocacy group. It reflects, in the broad sense of the word the culture of the neighborhood, its history, its way of being. Indeed, if a neighbourhood association is only an advocacy group, it won’t be as rooted, long-lasting and influential as one with a wider perspective.

Larry Gambone

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We had a record turn-out for our annual AGM on December 3…we’re not sure if it’s that fact that this has been one of our busiest years ever, or if word leaked out in advance that Rosie was once again bringing her now-legendary pineapple rum cake.


Douglas Hardie and Gord Fuller remain chair and vice-chair. Board members at large Charles Torhjelm, Larry Gambone, Pat Portsmouth, Sydney Robertson and Barbara Densmore and Secretary Eldeen Cornell remain. They are joined by newcomer Sandra Zuccolini, who will be taking the treasurer’s reins from retiring Peter Presotto. Peter has been such a rock of support over the years, we will miss him greatly and hope he sends postcards from his travels.


Once we realized that we needed someone impartial to lead the voting, Leonard Krog, MLA stepped in to take charge, suggesting that if the BC election process was as cooperative as the SECA process, politics would be a lot more pleasant. He was joined by MLA Doug Routley, who is the new representative for the south part of the South End.


In case you missed the meeting, here’s Douglas’ look back to 2008 and forward to 2009.


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Never a dull moment in the South End…as they say, and 2008 has been no exception. My sincere thanks to the SECA Executive and the many members of the association who have been so very generous with their time and efforts on behalf of the association. As you can see from the list below, it’s been a busy year and we have continued to grow in the scope and reach of our many activities.

2008 15th Annual Miners Heritage Picnic

Our marquee event was as big and successful as ever, sponsored by local business that contributed close to $5000 that paid for a wonderful day for south end children and families.

Chase River Estuary Park Day

S.E.C.A continues to promote public awareness and use of this lovely park. Our annual celebration includes guided walks, “fishing” in the river for smelt and family bbq

Litter Campaign

SECA is tackling the litter on our streets in three ways. Our annual litter pick up, sponsored by the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, is a one day large scale community clean up which annually collects an amazing amount of trash from our streets and lanes. In addition we have instituted a monthly, (last Saturday of the month) pick up for approximately one hour, with local restaurants hosting our breakfast gathering and then disposing of the litter collected.

Thirdly, the Art Bin Project continues to grow and develop. A recent community painting day has added a further 12 bins to the ten already located throughout the neighborhood. It’s a great little project that just keeps growing…

The SECA monthly Newsletter

Many thanks to Barbara and Larry for all their hard work in producing such a fabulous on-line newsletter and community blog. This project has really revolutionized the way we connect and share information in the neighbourhood and beyond. We also produce a hard copy for the non-computer savvy that is available at various locations in the neighbourhood

2008 South End Election Blog

The South End Community Association hosted an on-line forum for prospective mayoral and council candidates in the lead up to the recent civic elections. This innovative strategy allowed South End voters to pose questions to candidates regarding issues of concern to us. It was an excellent process that informed the voting public and raised our profile as a neighborhood association with the new administration. Many thanks to Anne Thompson and Barbara for their great work on this project

Balmoral Hotel

CMHA and VIHA amended their plans for the old Balmoral Hotel following widespread opposition within the neighborhood to locate the Living Room at the site. The neighborhood came out in force and was duly heard. Thanks to Councilors Diane Brennan, Merv Unger, CMHA and VIHA for responding to our concerns and we look forward to supporting and sharing in the success of the new social housing project.

Deverill Square Park Improvement Project

This project has been the cornerstone of our efforts to build upon our strengths and resources as the best way to address the social problems that persist in the neighborhood. Thanks to tremendous support from the City, the project is now well under way with new equipment being installed, floodlit soccer and lacrosse most nights of the week, $10,000 donated by the Gyro Club towards the project, $50,000 by the Rick Hansen Foundation, other fund raising pending. Many other upgrades in and around the park are planned, including a redevelopment of the Irwin / Milton barrier with a possible art installation and community bulletin board. Thanks to Kirsty MacDonald for all her efforts on behalf of Parks and Recreation.

Beer and Burger Fund Raiser

Our second annual fund raiser for the association was held just last weekend at the old Jolly Miner, now the Filling Station, and raised an astonishing $1500 dollars for the association. They have both been great events, bringing together the neighborhood as well as raising invaluable funds for the association. We are now required to carry insurance for the association at an annual cost of approximately $700, so this kind of fund raising is increasingly important.

S.P.A.C. Grant

SECA applied for and received $2000 from the City to support our activities in the neighborhood. This has been placed in our general revenue account and has contributed to recent art bin costs as well as other administration costs so far. We now have a healthy balance in the account and we can afford to fund some new projects that support our mission.

S.E.C.A. T shirts and art cards.

Yvonne vander Kooi’s Haliburton Street inspired image adorns the new and extremely popular SECA “T” shirts that have been selling like hot cakes. $20 for a T shirt and the cards sell for $3. See Sandra for details.

R.I.P. Gino Sedola

Gino passed away a couple of months ago and is sadly missed by many of us who cherished his friendship, wisdom and encouragement. He was a great champion of the South End, was enormously proud of his neighborhood, and spent his life giving to the community in a way that can inspire us all. SECA plans to honor his memory by planting a tree in Deverill Square Park

Looking Forward to 2009

Neighbourhood Plan

Subject to final council approval we will shortly be embarking on a formal neighborhood plan for the South End. We have been working towards this for many years and it is a unique opportunity for the neighborhood to shape a vision that will guide planning and development in the south end for many years to come.

Drug Problems

The number one concern in the neighborhood is the entrenched street level drug activity which has anchored itself in the alley between Nicol and Haliburton. SECA is committed to working closely with the RCMP and the City to address this complex problem. We are interested in hosting a forum of property owners and residents who live adjacent to the lane with a goal of addressing some of the physical characteristics of the lane that contribute to the problem. Thanks to the RCMP and By Law Services for there continued support. Our job is to continue to strive for the kind of neighborhood that promotes pride and caring as the best way to deter this kind of activity.

International Paper Industries

This company and its expanded recycling operation continues to create an intolerable noise and air pollution for those that live adjacent to it. SECA plans to renew our efforts to seek some redress for these problems in the New Year.


Wednesday January 7 at 7 PM. Princess Royal Family Centre.

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