A quarterly publication of the Nanaimo Port Authority
Summer, 2017

Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday

Photo by Mike Thompson Photography
President’s Report

Leading Port Authority into a whole new era
has been rewarding

Bernie Dumas President and Chief Executive Officer
It is never easy to say goodbye to friends, but retirement after 40-plus years in the marine industry sounds good. This will be my last President’s Report for the NPA Newsletter as I will retire from the Port effective September 30. The old saying that time moves fast definitely applies to my time with the Port. I arrived on January 9, 2009 for my first day with the NPA in what was one of the worst snow storms on record for Nanaimo. I arrived at the old building at 104 Front little after 8:30 (I wanted to present a good impression) to chaos as you know a snow day in Nanaimo is always a challenge. It must have been a sign of what was to come. I came from an organization with hundreds of staff to an office of about ten and an organization of under 20. The family atmosphere was definitely noticeable during my first few months. As the months flew by I began to enjoy the environment and started to tackle the job at hand. In 2009 the Port was struggling to secure cargo after the effects of the U.S.A. financial crisis. Our key customers were attempting to adjust to the loss of traditional markets and our first deep-sea breakbulk vessel did not materialize until August and the mood looked grim for the Port.   The Port’s traditional breakbulk loading of dimensional lumber business was most affected by the market changes and the Port needed to react quickly to adjust to the loss of this volume commodity. It was extremely important that the Port looked at itself and how the supply chain on Vancouver Island was evolving.
The introduction of containerization offered a quick shift and a new volume commodity to replace the cargoes of yesterday. Bringing DP World onboard in 2012, a global terminal operator, with more than 70 terminals around the world, provided the Port with a partner that was willing to explore new ideas. In 2012 DP World commenced the container barge service that started the Port’s attention on Short-Sea Shipping. Our first year’s 4,000 TEUs has grown to close to 50,000 in 2017. The port’s cargo volumes have increased more than 300% from what we had in 2009 and the Port has a solid diversified cargo base moving forward. The short-sea shipping business is flourishing to include other commodities and Nanaimo has established itself as the marine gateway for Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island customers can now connect to any destination around the world using the Port’s short-sea shipping operation One of the most exciting projects for me was to complete the Port’s Cruise Initiative, the construction of the cruise passenger terminal at the Assembly Wharf property. The Board of the day decided to enhance the Port’s ability to handle people and in particular cruise ships by building a dedicated dock and welcome centre. I was tasked to secure the last piece of the funding which was to get the Federal Government to support the project. In early 2010 the federal government announced $8.5 million toward the project. Construction began that August and the terminal opened May 2011 with the arrival of the Norwegian Pearl – some ten months from start to finish.  The Port is still struggling with our cruise business, attempting to reach our goal of 20-25 calls per year. I am personally disappointed with the lack of community support of the project. The Port constructed the infrastructure and hoped the community would rally to enhance the city’s appeal as a global tourist destination. Unfortunately the Port continues to sell Nanaimo as a destination with very little support from our local tourism community. The “Marine Domain Awareness System” which the Port has created with our partner Xanatos Marine of North Vancouver, is by far my greatest personal win. The system has provided a new layer of marine security and safety to our Port and I hope will be applied across Canada in the years ahead. The past eight and half years as President and CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority have been the most enjoyable and gratifying time of my career. I am pleased to have been part of the NPA’s transformation from a forest products distribution centre to a multi-modal port operation.  The Port’s success cannot be attributed to one person but to a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. There is a quote I remember from Henry Ford’s biography that comes to mind:  “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” I thank our Port customers, stakeholders, and staff for their co-operation over my time at the NPA. I am leaving with the belief that the hard days are behind for the Port and that the future is bright and the opportunities are endless. My intention is to stay on Vancouver Island and I look forward watching the continued growth of the NPA. Take care, Bernie
Chairman’s Report
Bernie Dumas leaves big imprint on our Port

Moira Jenkins
Chair of the Board
Nanaimo Port Authority

Welcome everyone to our Summer Newsletter. We at the Nanaimo Port Authority hope you are enjoying a beautiful summer season here on the island and are able to take holiday time with family and friends. The Port staff are actively participating in our community’s various marine festivals and our Patrol Boats are out on the water doing an excellent job ensuring our Harbour is safe for everyone to enjoy.   It’s a busy season for our staff, and on behalf of the Board, I want to thank them for all they do to support our community. The Nanaimo Port Authority is experiencing a transition in leadership. After working nearly 40 years in the marine industry, and the past nine years as President and CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority, Bernie Dumas has formally announced his retirement, effective September 30, 2017. It has been my pleasure to work with Bernie for the past 2½ years. Bernie has shown great vision and innovation as the leader of Nanaimo Port Authority as reflected by his many accomplishments. He has led the Port’s transformation from a forest distribution centre, to a multi-modal port operation, establishing Nanaimo as the main marine gateway for trade to and from the island. Through his vision, and with the introduction of DP World and containerization, the Port’s short-sea shipping service now connects Vancouver Island to new global markets for island manufacturers.
Bernie has been instrumental in the development of the “Marine Domain Awareness System,” a state-of-the-art system which ensures safety for our harbour and for the coast. He is a highly respected and valued leader, who I know will be truly missed. On behalf of the Board, I thank Bernie for his nine years of dedication to staff, customers, and community, and wish him all the very best as he embarks on new adventures.The Board is actively engaged in the pursuit of a new President and CEO  who will undertake to continue our vision and follow through on both the 2017 Strategic Plan and our long-term strategic plan as established by the Board and under Bernie’s leadership. Action actively continues on our three main priorities which are to maintain and grow the business; to further develop our property; and to work with our community partners. Just some of our current activities include ongoing negotiation with Island Ferries to establish a terminal lease for a passenger-only ferry operation, and negotiation of a lease with Western Canada Marine Response Corporation to establish a response base on our assembly wharf.  The Port staff are actively working with Port Alberni and Victoria on a shared vision for Vancouver Island Port Infrastructure development and economic growth.  Overall, excellent future opportunities exist for the Nanaimo Port Authority, serving the needs of the communities on Vancouver Island. I sincerely thank Bernie Dumas for his dedication and commitment to our Port and wish him well in his future endeavors.   Wishing you all a happy, healthy summer season, and please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know what is important to you in future issues.   
Clients discover the Island Gateway advantages
DP World Photos
DP World is Western Canada’s premier Container Terminal Operator and Stevedore. It is part of a global network of 77 terminals spread across six continents, with a dedicated team of more than 37,000 employees from 110 countries. Its commitment to personalized and proactive service excellence makes it a vital link in the supply chain. Locally, DP World’s terminals in Nanaimo, Vancouver and Prince Rupert offer clients safe, efficient and reliable cargo handling backed by more than 90 years of experience and knowledge. In 2012, DP World forged a partnership with the Nanaimo Port Authority to provide options to importers and exporters for this increasingly important gateway to Vancouver Island. It proved to be an astute business move if one considers the impressive increases in cargo movement since the partnership was solidified. In fact, Nanaimo is the top growth port across Canada in total tonnage from 2010 to 2016.  And clients continue to discover DP World advantages in Nanaimo.  Whether you are a trucker, a retailer, a wholesaler, a manufacturer, or a distributor, the Deep Sea Terminals at Duke Point and the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf probably have advantages you should know about. Advantages are uncovered if you answer yes to:

  • Do you have cargo coming from the mainland?
  • Are you interested in alternative options to make your supply chain more cost efficient?
  • Can you reduce the risk of failures in your supply chain by adding another port of entry to the island?
  • Will you avoid congestion and delays on existing options and save money? • Are you a container importer from the Pacific Rim?

There are so many advantages that people are just realizing and the word is spreading. Clients who took advantage of new services saw major increases in cargo movement since 2012. Growth continues; 2017 first two quarters trend upwards with a 7% increase in tonnage over the same period in 2016. Clients are motivated for various reasons and some utilize a combination of benefits.  Twice weekly sailings for containers from Vancouver to Nanaimo fit well for some clients while others like cargo that is intact to the island with reduced costs and transit time, and still others favour their direct access to cargo in Nanaimo. For those with green priorities, a growing value in our industry, time is saved through reduced truck kilometres and CO2 emissions. Clients can have direct B/L from the Ocean Carrier to Nanaimo, another competitive advantage. Look us up online at dpworld.ca, or watch this video to see for yourself what clients discover about our great DP World advantages in Nanaimo.

Port engages consultant for

2017 harbour rent study

The Nanaimo Port Authority has engaged Cunningham & Rivard Appraisals Ltd. of Nanaimo to conduct a Harbour Rent Study to determine fair market rent for its water lot leases.
Every five years the Port completes a market rent study to confirm that Port lease rental rates reflect the current market.
 As part of the 2017 Harbour Rent Study, Lessees were invited in April to provide market based evidence that will be considered by the consultant.
The draft 2017 Harbour Rent Study will also be peer reviewed and then presented to the Port Board in September for preliminary review, after which the Study will be open for comment by the Port lessees for a 30-day period and then returned for finalization by the Board in October/November.  The results of the 2017 Harbour Rent Study is scheduled to come into effect January 1, 2018

Western Canada Maritime Response Corporation unveils plans for response base and training facility for Nanaimo

The Western Canada Marine Response Corporation has unveiled its Nanaimo headquarters for Vancouver Island.

Construction is tentatively set to begin late this year and will be one of seven strategically placed response bases & equipment locations along the southern coast of B.C.  The schedule calls for base construction to be completed in late summer 2018 with new vessels arriving shortly after that, followed by personnel and training. The new vessels and staff will be trained and response ready for early 2019. 

The NPA is excited about this announcement and the placement of 21 new full-time jobs and substantial equipment in Greater Nanaimo. This new tenant will provide positive impacts for our local economy and provide enhanced response services for the region.

Our Healthy Harbour
Local waters have regular check-ups too. The Nanaimo Port Authority’s Patrol Division works regularly with City of Nanaimo staff to ensure safe coliform levels within harbour waters.  Check out this short video on Youtube – you will feel safer.  

Nanaimo welcomes The World - largest private residential ship

MS The World, returned to the Port of Nanaimo July 13 for two days. Bernie Dumas, President & CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority, was enthusiastic about her third visit to the Port of Nanaimo, representing the second time The World will overnight for a two-day period in Central Vancouver Island.

The World is the largest private residential ship on the planet at 644 feet. Since her launch in 2002, The World continuously circumnavigates the globe, spending extensive time in the most exotic and well-traveled ports, allowing residents to wake up in a new destination every few days. Residents enjoy one of the most exclusive lifestyles imaginable. Not only do they own their individual residences, but collectively, they own the ship, ensuring that the experiences – both onboard and off – are far beyond current luxury travel standards.

The residents, from about 45 countries, live on board as the ship travels, staying in most ports several days. A few live on board full-time while most visit periodically throughout the year. It is operated by ROW Management Ltd., headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

It has 165 residences (106 apartments, 19 studio apartments, and 40 studios), all owned by the ship’s residents. Average occupancy is 150–200 residents and guests.

The World is 196.35 metres (644 ft.) long, 29.8 metres (98 ft) wide, and has a 6.7-metre (22 ft) draft, 12 decks, and a maximum speed of 18.5 knots 21.3 mph). The ship has a crew of approximately 280.

“We are privileged to host The World with her travel-experienced passengers,” said NPA President and CEO Bernie Dumas. The World is a-one-of-a-kind vessel and frequents our beautiful British Columbia coast, a favourite destination for passengers. It is important that we showcase our customary hospitality, which Nanaimo is known for, to inspire passengers to return to Central Vancouver Island,” said Dumas. “We can be proud that our community makes the most of these opportunities.”

“The Cruise Line International Association 2016 economic analysis shows the value of these visits. With six major ship calls from various cruise lines to Nanaimo in 2017 the mid-island enjoys an economic impact of $2.87 million from direct and indirect spending. These calls provide significant opportunities for Central Vancouver Island businesses,” he added.

Travel counsellors from Nanaimo’s Visitor Centre went on board to greet passengers and point the way to photo opportunities with red serge RCMP.  

Complimentary shuttles transported passengers from the cruise terminal through downtown where they engaged with local volunteer hospitality ambassadors. Contact with local culture includes the downtown area, museums, galleries, eateries and walking tours. 

Ship’s concierge Manager Nicoleta Spasici with Const. Dave Scherr before going on board The World to greet the passengers.

David Mailloux Photo

Cruising contributes $3.2 billion to Canadian economy

Port Authority Vice President Ian Marr presents a commemorative plaque to mark the inaugural visit of The Europa to Captain Mark Behrend.

The economic impact of the cruise industry in Canada continues to as spending increases at a healthy rate in all three of Canada’s major coastal cruise regions – B.C., Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
The cruise industry had a total economic impact of $3.2, and increase of 34% since 2012 as a result of gains in cruise lines, passenger and crew spending. The figure also includes increases in business taxes such as those on food, fuel and retail items, and a favourable Canadian exchange rate.
Passenger visits increased nine per cent between 2012 and 2016, and that is about to be eclipsed by a 14% growth in 2017.
The study is based on 2016 compared to 2012, the last time a comparable study was done.
Study highlights:
  • Direct spending by cruise lines in Canada totalled $933 million, including items such as goods and services necessary for cruise operations (food & beverages, fuel, vessel maintenance/repair, equipment & supplies), shore-side staffing, port fees and services, equipment, and advertising and promotion.
  • Direct spending by cruise passengers, including lodging, tours and transportation, food & beverage, and retail – totalled just over half a billion dollars in 2016, a 12% increase since 2012.
  • Passenger visits to all Canadian ports were 2.23 million in 2016, an increase of 9% over 2012.
  • Jobs generated by the industry in Canada – direct and indirect – is estimated at just over 23,000, paying just over $1 billion in salaries and wages. Total employment generated by the cruise industry has increased 31% since 2012.
  • Of the national total, B.C. accounts for 66% of direct cruise industry spending; Quebec accounts for 15%; Atlantic Canada accounts for 7%. Other provinces and territories also benefit, as recipients of spending for on-ship provisions, equipment, tourism, advertising and agent commissions.

Bardish Chagger, Federal Minister of Small Business, said the study illustrates how important the cruise industry is in creating jobs and growth in Canada’s tourism sector and beyond. 

Talby Mckay, President and owner of Northern Biomass Consulting Ltd., says Nanaimo is the perfect location to engage Island resources and access the global market. 

David Mailloux Photo

Northern Biomass Consulting Ltd.
move is a big economic boost for Nanaimo

Economic development in Nanaimo is about to get a big shot in the arm with the announcement that Northern Biomass Consulting Ltd. is moving to Nanaimo with 45 full-time jobs.

The Nanaimo Port Authority announced that Northern Biomass Consulting Ltd.  will occupy the former Nanaimo Port Authority head office at 104 Front St. and is planning a $20-million plant at Duke Point with an annual $50-million operating budget.

The company is moving its operations from Prince George. It has an affiliate in Denver, Colorado.

The company produces wood-based carbon for specialty agriculture markets, soil additives, carbon additives, filtration and hydrocarbon adhesion. Northern Biomass Consulting Ltd. has secured wood fibre suitable for converting to bio-carbon and is in the permitting stage of one location and has four more going through in the next few years in different parts of Canada. 

The markets for bio-carbon are massive – it can be used for high-quality carbon as an additive for consumer products such as plastic or steel. Northern is working with developers of biomass power for stand-alone or existing projects. They can be semi-portable to permanent, with power capacities in the 2MW to 10MW.

Port Authority CEO Bernie Dumas said the move is an exceptional gain for Nanaimo and Central Vancouver Island. 

“Northern Biomass Consulting Ltd. provides new renewable resource benefits to our Island’s forestry industry and utilizes port services to access global markets. This forward-thinking environmentally-friendly company will add 45 full-time employees to the local labour force and utilize another 200 contractors to boost our local economy – a win-win win,” Dumas said.

The Port Authority sees Northern as one of the ways to the future for development in the local forestry industry that includes new renewable resource options combined with positive impacts on the Island’s economy, the environment and on port services.

“This a significant step for our community as we continue to advance the Port’s mandate for diversity and to establish new business for the west coast economy”, said Dumas.

Talby Mckay, President and owner of Northern Biomass Consulting Ltd. has more than 19 years of experience in the biomass industry as an operator and a manager and has managed three companies and all aspects of the business from field to office.

His experience in the Alberta oil patch as an environmental engineer, crane operator and construction supervisor provided a clear vision for the future in renewable resources. He recognized that the biomass industry has a bright future, especially with companies applying a value on environmental concerns along with a more cost effective way of managing excess fibre.  Wood chips, sawdust and hog-fuel are regular by-products from forestry processing.  Biomass provides an additional after process option for the industry with huge energy efficiencies and advantages. 

“We definitely want to be part of the community and are looking forward to developing our connections with local businesses and residents,” Mckay said.

Safety first for Canada Day fireworks show
It takes a lot of people to ensure safety during fireworks displays – seven agencies on the water and two on land. That included Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue, B.C. Parks, Harbour Watch, RCMP – West Coast Marine Division, RCMP Nanaimo, Nanaimo Port Authority – Patrol Division, Nanaimo Fire Rescue – 23 of the 27 people on the water and add to that the on-land security and traffic control.
Penny’s Palapa in the Boat Basin has ‘the vibe’

The friendly crew at Penny’s Palapa, from left,  Chef Yadira Peralta with owner/partners Bruce  Laird, Penny Palen and Renay Deschambault.

Many ingredients go into Penny’s Palapa restaurant – a specialized menu, a dockside setting, outstanding service and incredible flavours that draw you back.

The Palapa, a popular floating restaurant in Nanaimo’s Boat Basin specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine. What makes this eatery compel so many to bring friends and family? Best is for you to discover – a “dockside vibe” that attracts, fills every table and leaves patrons wanting more.

The new owners discovered that one thing won’t describe the Palapa, no

singular answer lends itself to what people love about the restaurant.


They took on Penny’s Palapa late in 2016 for operation this year after watching it succeed for 15 years under former founder/owners Penny and Franz Mutschler. (The restaurant is not limited to owners solely named Penny) Both Penny and Bruce have a passion for satisfying customers, albeit with a different compass in hand as operators of Trollers Fish & Chips, a few steps down the dock.

When you look past the colourful entrance surrounded with flowers there is much more to consider. You will notice immediately a bright, clean yet cozy atmosphere.  The restaurant is an intimate setting, seating 35 patrons who can literally reach out a window to yachts tied nearby or smell the flowers that create a “gardens by the sea” atmosphere. And the cuisine features fresh-fresh-fresh seafood and sauces – authentic Mexican dishes prepared by Chef Yadira Peralta who hails from Mexico City. 

Renay Deschambault, the genial manager and business partner, notes that she hears so often: “You’ve got a really great place here!” a genuine endorsement with a tone that says “We’re coming back”. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to dusk, 9 p.m. in the summer, the new Taco Take-Out window is popular for a tasty signature taco on the go on the lively Harbourside walkway. 

For some this dock-side palapa is a romantic place, others enjoy the authentic west coast experience – fresh seafood, floating on the sea – with others who enjoy an intriguing seaside atmosphere.

Penny’s Palapa’s success is made from many things – but regular customers have been heard to say: “The Palapa – we love it for many reasons, and it’s got the vibe!” 
https://www.facebook.com/pennyspalapa/, 250-753-2150.

‘Port Moments in Time’
News Bulletin contest winners
As part of the NPA’s “Port Moments in Time” feature in the Nanaimo News Bulletin we conducted an online contest focused on the Port. Here are the winners.
Top left, Brent Patrick – winner of NPA Boxanne wireless speaker.
Top right, winner Fred Copley  - with Jonathan Berg & Tara Bell – harbour tour.
Bottom Left, winner Diana Johnson  with Scott Speakman – Helijet – return flight for two to Vancouver.
Bottom right, winners Keith & Lyn Osmond –with Manager John Winter - Harbour Air  - scenic flight.

We want to hear from you

We want to know what’s important to you and what information and topics you would
like to see in future issues of our Newsletter. 
Please e-mail us at 

Nanaimo Port Authority

Box 131 - 100 Port Drive,
Nanaimo, BC, Canada
V9R 5K4
Tel: 250-753-4146


Bernie Dumas
President and Chief 
Executive Officer

Ian Marr
Vice President - CPA, CGA

Edward S. Dahlgren
Director of Operations
& Harbour Master

Mike Davidson
Director of Property
& Environment

David Mailloux
Manager, Communications and Public Affairs


Moira Jenkins

Michelle Corfield
Vice Chair

Chris Badger

Audrey Cope

Donna Hais

Jeet Manhas

Richard Ringma

The Nanaimo Port Authority is one of 18 Port Authorities across Canada, established under the Canada Marine Act, to promote and support the national, regional and local economy and to ensure a safe and secure harbour for cargo operations.


Editorial Services
Merv Unger
Image Medianet
Nanaimo, B.C.