Teachers began Phase 1 of a job action — dubbed the Teach Only campaign —while they continued to negotiate a new collective agreement.
“It’s not business as usual,” Fred Robertson, president of Vancouver Island North Teachers’ Association, said at the beginning of the school year. “Teachers will continue to teach, assess students, take attendance, communicate with students and parents, participate in voluntary extra curricular activities and go on field trips, (but) our time won’t be tied up with administrivia, bureaucratic tasks and endless meetings.”
• A contracted physician should be hired to put an end to rolling emergency room closures that have plagued Port Hardy Hospital, Port Hardy Mayor Bev Parnham said during a hastily assembled meeting that drew dozens of government officials, medical professionals, First Nations participants and concerned citizens to the Civic Centre to talk about the ongoing series of emergency room closures at Port Hardy Hospital.
• Larry Sandberg said he’s no hero, but the two young men he rescued from a sinking boat near Cluxewe Resort might disagree.
It was Sandberg who spotted the silhouettes of the men through thick fog about 100-feet into the kelp bed, and then rescued them from their sinking watercraft.
• A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Vancouver Island and the Village of Port Alice took the brunt of it. Keir Gervais, director of emergency operations for the village, said it was “a good little” shake.
“Everyone here felt it, but there was no major damage and no one was hurt,” he said.
• Maggie Sedgemore was one of just a handful of people who participated in Sunday’s Terry Fox run, which raised only $520. “We have all these cancer-related fund-raising events that are huge in our community and here is the Terry Fox run which is supposed to be the largest, only a few people show up,” lamented run organizer Melinda Dennison. “I have no idea why people aren’t buying in.”
• A shortage of qualified ambulance personnel grabbed headlines when it was learned about a dozen people were needed to properly fill positions around the North Island.
“If we don’t get active right now, if we don’t get aggressive (with recruitment) it may effect our ability to maintain ambulance coverage in the community,” said Lance Stephenson, North Vancouver Island District superintendent for the BC Ambulance Service.
• Vancouver Island Health Authority responded to demand from North Island residents and vowed to have round-the-clock coverage of the Port Hardy Hospital emergency room by next September.
Howard Waldner, VIHA president and CEO, made the announcement to an audience at an open forum that followed the Mount Waddington Health Network’s meeting on homelessness and social housing at the local community centre.
A short-term agreement was also struck with Port Hardy physicians ensured no closures at the Port Hardy Hospital ER between Sept. and the Christmas holiday season.
• The 2011 Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock kicked off when riders stopped and joined a packed house at the Port Alice Legion to enjoy a seafood dinner/ fundraiser. The team of 23 riders pedaled about 1,000-km from the North Island to Victoria to raise money for cancer projects.