Staff Sgt. Craig Blanchard of the Port McNeill RCMP salutes after laying a wreath at the cenotaph in Port McNeill.

November 2012: Year in review

A collection of the top stories from this month last year.

SRM Projects Ltd., a renewable energy engineering firm based in Nanaimo, withdrew its application for an investigative license application for Blackney Passage Monday after several whale researchers objected to its location in critical whale habitat off North Vancouver Island’s coast.

OrcaLab, the whale research station on Hanson Island, and SRM Projects Ltd. made the announcement of the application’s withdrawal in a joint press release Monday.

“We see this as a win-win situation,” said Dr. Paul Sprong, founder of OrcaLab. “We are very pleased with how receptive SRM Projects was to the concerns we raised.”

With a backdrop of the stunning scenery of Broughton Strait, the newest tanker in the Canadian Shipping Lines Fleet was welcomed to the North Island with a blessing by First Nations chiefs and elders.

The Rt. Honourable Paul E. Martin, the first of the CSL’s new Trillium Class of Panamax tankers, had just completed its first loading at the Orca Sand and Gravel quarry ship loader just west of Port McNeill.

The Orca quarry is operated by Polaris Minerals Corp. of Vancouver in a unique partnership with the Kwakiutl and ‘Namgis First Nations, negotiated by Polaris founder Marco Romero prior to the quarry’s opening in 2007.

A former teacher in the School District 85 (Vancouver Island North) system was charged on two counts of possession of child pornography, RCMP and school district officials announced.

Timothy Josephy Ouellette, 45, was charged with possession of child pornography and with possession for the purpose of distribution or sale, said Cpl. Daren Lagan, media relations officer with the Island District RCMP.

No local children were victimized, and Ouellette no longer works for the district.

Mitchell, the Port McNeill-raised defenseman who helped the Los Angeles Kings win the 2012 Stanley Cup before bringing it to his hometown arena in August, returned to his home town bearing 33 M11 anti-concussion helmets he distributed to Port McNeill’s minor hockey association.

The visit was not publicized, and Mitchell surprised the young skaters by joining them on the ice for practice before retiring to the Image Room upstairs for pizza and autographs.

 

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UPDATE: Police say false bomb threat came from computer and printer in the school

“The threat was a hoax by a student,” said Port McNeill RCMP.

Winds of up to 90 km/hr predicted to hit Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is warning that loose objects may cause damage

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles still undefeated, dominate Oceanside Generals in Port Hardy

Who can stop the North Island Bantam Eagles? The answer so far this season is, well, no one.

VIDEO: North Island Atom Eagles tie Victoria Ice Hawks, fall in rematch

The North Island Atom Eagles will be back in league play action at home in January.

Strong winds expected to hit north, west Vancouver Island: Environment Canada

Environment Canada said southeast winds will reach speeds of 70 to 90 kilometres per hour

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end Island Highway car chase

Woman in her 30s detained after Tuesday afternoon incident in Lantzville

PHOTOS: Salvation Army’s luncheon brings a blast of Christmas spirit to the North Island

North Islanders, around 300, filled the Island Copper Room as they enjoyed lunch and dessert.

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