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Monday, November 24, 2008

Re My latest Letter to the Editor

Well the Daily News posted my letter today. I was comparing their version with mine and was pleasantly surprised to see it running word for word. Then I came to the last paragraph and low and behold they did not print the last sentence, "In either system you would hope that votes would be cast for those with the broadest knowledge representative of the whole community."

This sentence goes to the crux of the matter for those speaking against the Ward System. Often they view the Ward System as representative of the area only, where in fact, one would hope that the ward would elect persons with a broad base of knowledge about the community. We all know that the way things are does not necessarily mean we get that type of broad representation.

Nanaimo Food Charter

For anyone interested there will be a Forum on the 29th that should move us on our way to developing a Food Charter for the City of Nanaimo. Sponsored by Food Link Nanaimo, I was on their board the first few years after their inception, their press release is below the links to various Food Charters. Interestingly the revised Official Community Plan has a section 3.4 on Food Security. Hope to see you there on Saturday.


Manitoba Food Security

Toronto Food Security

Nov. 18, 2008
Grow Nanaimo!
Creating a local food strategy together

Nanaimo, BC – Food Link Nanaimo is set to host a Fall Food Forum to beginthe dialogue on how our community can work together to create a local foodcharter and long-term food strategy. The event will take place onSaturday, November 29th from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at Christ Community Churchon 2221 Bowen Rd. The event will be preceded by a screening of newlyreleased film, Island on the Edge, by local film maker Nick Versteeg, onFriday November 28, at 7pm, also at the church.

Elder Ellen White Kwulasulwut, Nanaimo Nation, will perform the OpeningBlessing, followed by Community singing led by Sylvia Wende. The event isfacilitated by Kxx Citton. The morning guest speaker is Richard Balfour,New City Institute (Vancouver), followed by the Plenary on MunicipalEngagement and Food Security that will include panellists Deborah Jensen,City of Nanaimo, Chris Midgley Sustainability Coordinator RegionalDistrict of Nanaimo, and Fred Pattje, City Councillor.

According to Sandra Christensen, Chair of Food Link, "In the morning, thegoal is to establish an overview for the work that needs to be done,beginning with some important concepts around relationship-building andcore values. As the participants move into more dialogue, by theafternoon they will be breaking into smaller groups so that all theparticipants will have their voices heard and recorded. "

The afternoon guest speaker is Jarrod Gunn-McQuillan, from VIHA, giving anIntroduction to the Food Charter Process. Afternoon workshops include:"Local food system and policy" - Sandra Mark of Edible Strategies;"Growing more food locally" - Jessica Snider of Nanaimo Community GardensSociety; "Working with Aboriginal community" - Tanis Daggert of BCHLA; and"School food & garden programs" - Anna Dodds of Foodshare Nanaimo.

Food Link has identified several anticipated outcomes that include:
-developing a stronger relationship between the City / RDN andthe community, by engaging in dialogue and visualizing how the communitycan unify its food action goals,
-facilitating relationship building and inspiring dialogue,
-creating a shared vision for our community,
-documenting many voices and perspectives on the issue of foodsustainability,
-laying the ground work to develop a community process forcreating a food charter and longterm food strategy for Nanaimo.

Please consider attending yourself, or sending a representative from yourorganization, school or business.

Registration and more information contact:

This is a free event. Free childcare available. Local food vendorMermaid's Mug on-site. Food offering table. Sponsored by BCHC – BCHealthy Communities.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Letter regarding Daily News Editorial

To the editor;

If anything the results of our recent election show a great need for voter reform and revisiting the Ward System.

Why did those elected receive City Wide Support? Simply because that is the way the current system works. The only other alternative under this system is not to vote, which many did as can be seen by the lower voter turnout 32.25% in 2008 compared to 35.4% in 2005 and this despite a 2000 person increase to the voters list.

Five polling stations were removed in Nanaimo and replaced by two others. Did this have an effect? I have no doubt that it did particularly in the south end. While most going to Pauline Haarar School in 2005 could be expected to utilize the Convention Centre it is unlikely those who went to Bayview School would do the same. While some would go to Chase River or Georgia Avenue Schools many, without transportation, would have simply abstained from voting.

In 2005 Bayview and Pauline Haarar Schools accounted for 1733 votes. A simple analysis of the increases at Chase River (18) and Georgia Avenue (198) plus the votes cast at the Convention Centre (984), less than Pauline Haarar School in 2005, shows a total of 1200 votes. The resultant 533 vote deficit is significant.

With the current system there is no representation on council south of Ebert St. , the Ward System would see representation of all areas. In either system you would hope that votes would be cast for those with the broadest knowledge representative of the whole community.

To view the editorial I commented on go to: City council must take broadest viewpoint

Monday, November 17, 2008

Electoral Reform

I find it interesting that even less people voted this election than last time and I have no doubt that the population has increased in Nanaimo since 2005 as well. This does not say much for Nanaimo though I should also mention that places like Ladysmith amd Victoria had a far lower percentage of voter turnout than Nanaimo.

Five polling stations were removed in Nanaimo and replaced by two others. Did this have an effect? I have no doubt that it did. My focus here is the South End so I won't be going into detail with the closures in the North End (if someone else has the info I would be glad to hear it).

While most who would have went to Pauline Haarar School during the last election would go to the Conventions Centre it is unlikely that those who went to Bayview School would do the same. While some would go to Chase River School or Georgia Avenue School many of those without transportation would have abstained from going down to the Convention Centre or either of the aforementioned because of the distance. I have heard this from a number of people who just did not vote because of the distance.

Despite an increase of approximately 2000 people to the voters list for 2008 voter turnout was way down, 32.25% in 2008 compared to 35.4% in 2005. Comparison of 2005 and 2008 results of total vote for mayor, it is easier to compare turnout as one can only vote for one as opposed to a person being able to pick eight councillors, prove interesting.

2005: Baayview School = 660, Pauline Haare School =1073, for a total of 1733. Chase river School 2005 = 896, 2008 = 914, for a net increase of 18. Georgia Avenue School 2008 = 1326, 2008 =1524, for a net increase of 198 and a total increase of the two of 216. Now in 2008 with the Convention Centre as the new location we had a total of 984 votes cast. If you add the 984 with the increase of 216 from Georgia Avenue and Chase River you get a total of 1200 votes cast. This shows, albeit not conclusively, a decrease of 533 votes. This is significant and a direct correlation with the closure of Bayview and Pauline Haarer polling stations.

I know the above is complicated and if you want to do any of your own comparrisons you can find both the 2005 & 2008 total Mayoral Votes documents at the following links:

Mayoral Results 2008

Mayoral Results 2005

So what is my conclusion? Exactly that we need to have Electoral Reform and that the polling stations, especially Bayview School, should be re-opened for the next election in 2011. We should also seriously revisit the Ward System Concept as well as setting term limits for both Mayor and Council.

For another viewpoint check out the Go Nanaimo Blog.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Today, November 15th, is the day to make change happen in the city of Nanaimo. Please remember to get out and vote and encourage your friends, family and neighbours to do so as well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Province Promises Cash for Housing

Good news indeed. With the provincial governments signing of a memorandum of agreement things should soon be in place to move forward with some much needed housing for the disenfranchised. Many people have worked long and hard on this, it is a start, but there is still much to be done as it will take at least two or three years before any of the new build housing is complete. Much can happen in that period of time, especially with a provincial election looming on the horizon.

Where will the homeless stay until we see some of this new housing? Unlike many other cities Nanaimo does not have a Cold Wet Weather Strategy and has opted for an extreme weather strategy instead. The former would have extra bed space, accessed between 8:00 pm and 8:00 am, opening up during the months from October through April. The latter simply sees emergency beds opening up when the temperature drops below minus 5 degrees Celsius. Hardly adequate for the homeless, expecting them to stay outdoors, when almost everyone would agree and many would bitch about how crappy the weather can be when it is cold and raining. Certainly not out of the ordinary for Nanaimo.

More needs to be done immediately so talk to prospective candidates and once the election is over continue the push to see some form of redress to the fact that many will have to suffer unnecessarily while the majority of us sit in relative comfort and warmth.

Province boosts city housing plan with cash

Homeless plan deserves the public's support

Housing plan gets kickstart

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kontroversy Revisited

A couple more versions of the FREE NANAIMO from KORUPTION bumper sticker have come my way and are attached below.

Other than the initial veiled threats to some members of Friends of Plan Nanaimo and the current Law Suits against Angela Negrin, council candidate and propriator of Pirate Chips, and Tony Parkin, long time advocate for Lifeguards at our public beaches and No High-Rises on our waterfront, I can find no instances of others being sued for displaying the Free Nanaimo from Koruption bumper sticker. Oddly enough, early on in his vendetta, Mayor Korpan had stated that he would track down and prosecute to the fullest extent those that displayed the Free Nanaimo from Koruption bumper sticker. So why pick the two he did? We may never know the answer to this but my guess is because both have been vocal on various issues within the city.

This latest in the daily news, "City kills $5,700 TV spot because of sticker."

There have been numerous documented occasions when our illustrious Mayor has chosen to humiliate and denigrate those who have come before council or public hearings, I myself have frequently been the brunt of his remarks. If a policy on behaviour does not exist then when elected I will work to implement one. Too often people put a lot of work into appearing as a delegation to council and get slapped in the face by council members who may disagree with their point of view. Is it any wonder why there is a prevailing air of apathy that exists in Nanaimo, why people believe that decisions are already made prior to public engagement?

I have one final thing to say on the subject, Mayor Korpan if you don’t want to be remembered by the public as a petulant whiner drop the lawsuit and apologize to Tony and Angela.

That's 4 versions I have tracked down and a fifth with VICC I haven't been able to. See if you can collect them all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More on Millennium and the PNC Hotel

The issue of our non-existent hotel for the convention centre has taken off, much like I believe Millennium will ultimately do. In the Globe and Mail story, Stalled hotel….., current Mayor Korpan states "This is not a white elephant. Even without the hotel, this is going to be a success," he said. "I understand the operators have adjusted their marketing for smaller events and all of the areas are pretty much booked to the limit." He also states further on that, “Millennium has "reconfirmed" its financing several times in recent months, and changing developers could delay the project for another two years”.

I have a few things to say about this. If the PNC will be a success without the hotel why worry about the hotel being delayed even longer if we change developers? Make up your mind Gary which is it? While it is stated that the PNC is booked to the limit, how many of those bookings are City sponsored events? It’s nice to see that we as taxpayers are being hit twice in building and utilizing this venue.

It is time for the voters of Nanaimo to really look at this fiasco. Get out and vote and let’s see a total change on council.

Hotel issue should change the political landscape in Nanaimo

Stalled hotel weighing on mayor

City not on hook if hotel deal falls apart

Monday, November 10, 2008

Canadian Federation of Students: Municipal Candidates Questionnaire

1). A study of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities found that the percentage of renter households’ income spent on housing has increased dramatically over the last two decades. In addition, low vacancy rates in most urban areas of BC leave students with little choices for affordable housing. In 2007, Human Resources and Social Development Canada found that vacancy rates across the country were lowest in British Columbia. Do you support initiatives to help reduce rental costs in BC? How do you propose to increase the amount of affordable housing available to students and other low-income people in your municipality?


I am well known in Nanaimo as a Community and Social Activist for the disadvantaged. I have considerable experience working on issues ranging from Homelessness, Food Security, and Anti Poverty, to Neighbourhood Development and Downtown revitalization. For a number of years I have fought for more affordable housing and as a member of the Nanaimo's Working Group on Homelessness had a hand in the development of Nanaimo's Homeless Action Plan.

When elected to council I will continue to make affordable housing a priority. I would like to see the creation of purpose built subsidized housing and would push to see such a concept enacted through advocating with BC Housing. I would work to make the development of rental units in Nanaimo more appealing to developers as well as any other means within my power to make housing more available for students and those with Iow-Incomes. I would also advocate with the province to increase the minimum wage and have it indexed to the cost of living.

2). For many students, the quality of public transit, or lack thereof, is a day-to-day frustration that affects our ability to travel to and from school and work. In all regions, increasing fares, infrequency of service, overcapacity buses, longer-than-anticipated commutes and inadequate service, including a lack of late night service, are of primary concern. According to the 2007 BC Transit Annual Report, between 2000 and 2006, BC Transit ridership increased roughly 31%. Service hours over the same period saw an approximate increase of only 13%. Do you believe increased funding for public transit is a priority? If so, would you work to put pressure on the provincial and federal governments to increase funding for transit infrastructure and quality across the province? What would you do to help improve transit in your municipality?


Transit in Nanaimo is under the prevue of the Regional District of Nanaimo.

I would most definitely work with the RDN and Province to increase infrastructure funding as a viable transit system could reduce costs of use as well as encourage increased ridership and reduce emissions of toxic fumes into the environment. The primary way to improve transit is to increase ridership, to do this development in the community needs to take place in existing urban areas to create greater density. I would also advocate for smaller busses during non peak times.

3). Transit fares have increased numerous times in BC over the last decade. Students make up a significant portion of transit ridership, and have thus borne the brunt of fare increases. Furthermore, students and low-income families have been impacted by the escalating cost of living–as well as the doubling of tuition fees in the last seven years–making the higher cost of public transit a greater burden. Do you believe that transit fares are currently too high in your municipality? How would you work to ensure public transit is affordable for students and other low-income community members?


I would work to make transit more efficient by having smaller busses in off peak hours, increased service during peak hours and create a greater density of housing. I would also look to implementing lower student and low income bus rates.

4). Part of building an active citizenry and representative government is facilitating involvement from the community in decisions that affect them. At every post-secondary institution, students are democratically represented by students’ unions, through which they are represented when decisions are being made that impact them at the federal, provincial, and local levels. Will you commit to working with your local students’ union(s) to facilitate the involvement of students on municipal committees and through consultations?


Categorically YES!
I am already acquainted with a few members of the Students Union at Vancouver Island University (VIU) as well as a number of instructors. I am often asked to speak to classes about Community Building and Activism and encourage participation of Students to take part in the community by becoming involved. One easy way is by working with their local neighbourhood association or with the students union on events. I have actively encouraged youth involvement in a number of organizations I belong to and work closely with the Popular Participation Movement, a group of active young people, many of whom are students at VIU.

5). In March of this year, the BC government cut allocated funding to BC’s universities and colleges by $55 million, causing program, service, and faculty and staff cuts. Recognizing the importance of public colleges and universities to local economies and social health, a number of municipalities passed resolutions in opposition to the cuts, despite post-secondary education being a provincial jurisdiction. Do you believe that municipal governments have a role to play in ensuring there is adequate funding of core public services, such as post-secondary education? How would you work, or have you worked, to protect public services that are not locally administered and funded?


Again YES!
As a fairly recent graduate (2002) of, at the time, Malaspina University/College I am fully cognizant of the issues facing students today. I believe municipal government can and should play a greater role in advocating for the needs and issues facing students. Part of this could be through lobbying both the Provincial and Federal Governments. I have and will continue to push for an increased minimum wage indexed to cost of living increases. I have spoken to and sent letters to both MLA’s and MP’s with regards to restructuring the student loan system and I have worked closely with and will continue to work with unions and community coalitions to protect and properly fund public services.

Link to CFS website and answers from other candidates

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Letter to the Editor re: Millenium Hotel

It is important to remember that the hotel was to be an integral part of and completed at the same time as part of the Convention Centre. This was later moved to its proposed site, expanded from 20 to 24 then 37 stories, many floors of condos included, and then because financung couldn't be arranged scaled back to 18 stories of hotel space only. As part of the enticement to get the American company Triarc, Canadian subsidiary Suro, and their Developer Millenium to build Council approved lands at Maffeo Sutton Park to be sold to the developer for roughly 9 million dollars so as to build a couple 24 storie condominiums. While the price of the land was fair the idea of butchering Maffeo Surron Park was not. Also the city agreed to purchase 150 parking spaces at #30,000 a pop, total 4.5million. Great for the developer bad for the taxpayers of Nanaimo. Anyway, Triarc and Millenium have missed so many deadlines and with Millenium needing a $100 million bailout by the City of Vancouver for its Olympic Village development, it has become less likely that the hotel for our convention centre will ever be built by Millenium.

Letter regarding a few recent stories in the paper
Show me the money! Millenniums' appearance before the Development Advisory Panel yesterday, November 6th, was a farce. They showed a hastily prepared rendering that completely ignored Downtown Development Guidelines and the character of the surrounding properties as well as at one point even touting that they would look to accessing Pipers Park and its redevelopment to meet their needs. The DAP did not approve moving forward the request for a development permit at this time, kudos to them.

Vancouver's City Council has apparently, in camera (ie.secretly), agreed to provide Millenium $100 million needed to complete the Olympic Village. Are we to expect the same from our council? When will Jeet Manhas admit that this is a sham and that council should pull out of this deal immediately as they justifiably can. When will the rest of Council do the same? I have to wonder just how much of the taxpayers money has been spent to keep this process going?

A special meeting of the current Council should be called and this project squashed. Don't leave this mess for a new council to deal with.

Hotel cash source secret

Panel rejects hotel plan

City officials stay silent on $100M loan for 2010 athletes' village

Local News Clip:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

All Candidates Meeting – November 3rd

I have to say that given only one minute for an opening statement is a bit of a challenge but all of the candidates seemed to do pretty well in the limited time frame. Below is a copy of my opening statement which I managed to get through except for one sentence, underlined, used that one in my closing minute. Homelessness seemed to be mentioned a lot in the prospective council candidates opening statements, a number of questions were also forwarded to individual candidates on the subject as well.

I had toyed with the idea of saying in my closing that it was nice to here all of these new voices talking about the issue and that I hoped, whether elected or not, they would continue to do so after the election. I chose instead to acknowledge a group of people that were camping out at Vancouver Island University, for three days, to raise money for a memorial garden at Samaritan House Women's Shelter.

Students Sleep Out For Homeless

I then asked people to sit in silence and think about the disenfranchised that so often die without any acknowledgement. This year I have attended a number of memorial services and gatherings for street people who passed away. I find it sad that, in most cases, within 6 months they will be forgotten by many and only remembered by those of us who work with them or who like them face the same fate.

I have one simple request, when you walk by someone who is homeless, or looks a bit on the rough side, don't turn your head away ignoring their presence. Acknowledge them with a nod and a good day. Something that simple can do wonders to lift a persons spirit.

My spiel:
I am a long time Community and Social Advocate and have considerable experience working with committees and boards on issues ranging from Homelessness & Affordable Housing, Food Security and Poverty, to Neighbourhood Development and Downtown revitalization. I recognize the importance of a healthy diverse economy in providing social stability and the necessary tax base to run the city.

I believe many on council have become complacent in their positions and that we should limit council and mayoral terms to two. We should revisit the ward system and its potential for fairer representation of neighbourhoods on council. How can we provide security persons and yet not provide lifeguards at our public beaches, what cost a human life?
I support smart growth principals and believe we need to work towards a greener environment, create a viable transit system and increased density in existing urban areas. When elected I promise the same tenacity I am known for when advocating on Community and Social issues.

November 15th elect Gordon Fuller to Council

Links to All Candidates Coverage
Daily News

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nanaimo News Bulletin Q & A

Civic election questions from the Nanaimo News Bulletin. My answers follow:

Name: Gordon Fuller

Age: 50

Occupation: Coordinator of Housing ( Nanaimo Youth Services Association)

AKA - Social Worker, Child & Youth Care Worker

Political experience: Define political experience. I have run for council twice but one could also look at sitting on a Board of Directors as political experience. The following is a record of my community involvement

Current (2005)
  • Nanaimo 7-10 Club Society – Co Chair
  • Friends of Plan Nanaimo – President
  • South End Community Association – Vice President
  • Nanaimo Neighbourhood Network – Vice Chair
  • Nanaimo Citizens Advocacy
  • Nanaimo Old City Association
  • Neighbours of Nob Hill
  • Downtown Nanaimo Partnership – Housing Design & Development Subcommittee
  • Working Group on Homeless Issues
  • Mid Island Coalition for Strong Communities


  • Crystal Meth Task Force
  • Nanaimo Alcohol and Drug Action Coalition
  • Working Group on Downtown Social Issues
  • Mental Health Advisory Council
  • City of Nanaimo Nuisance Property Committee
  • Nanaimo Social Development Strategy
  • S.A.F.E.R Downtown Nanaimo Project
  • Community Food Connection
  • Food Link Nanaimo
  • Action for Diversity Team
  • Nanaimo Food Share Society

Why are you seeking election?

It is time for change and I have the energy and commitment to make Nanaimo a better place for all of its citizens. I will bring the same tenaciousness I am known for as a Community and Social Activist/Advocate. I know it is critical that we recognise the importance of a healthy diverse economy in providing meaningful employment and the necessary tax base from which to run our fair city. I am a strong believer in the revitalization of Nanaimo ’s Downtown and most recently took part in the revision of Nanaimo ’s Official Community Plan.

What is the No. 1 issue in this election?

While there are a number of very important issues, homelessness, the economy, etc; I believe the number one issue is electing a council that respects all of its citizens equally and does not demean and denigrate those citizens choosing to speak before council on items individual members of council may not agree with. This was again recently brought home when Mayor Korpan proceeded to do this very thing at the last council meeting an instance witnessed by one of the Bulletin's own reporters. Repairing the divisiveness that this type of behaviour has created over the past few years is paramount.

How do you see the balance between the need for infrastructure/service and the need to keep property taxes under control?

It is a well known fact that infrastructure costs less if the focus is on densifying existing neighbourhoods. Using the downtown as an example, despite there being no DCC'S (development cost charges), the hope is to increase the population of the area by approximately 8000 people. The cost of infrastructure in an already serviced area is far less and is balanced by the taxes generated by the densification of the area. This has the effect of keeping taxes low and, with the increased tax base, not being a burden on existing taxpayers.

Nanaimo has a significant housing/homelessness situation. What do you propose as a potential solution?

This is a no brainer. The only solution to homelessness is to house the homeless. Housing First has become the primary philosophy in North America over the past 5 years, one I have been espousing in Nanaimo for the past 7, and is the one finally taken in Nanaimo 's Homeless Action Plan developed in 2008. With commitment from the city, province and feds this will be accomplished. It is the role of the city to provide land as well as advocate with other levels of the government to provide funding for purpose built as well as market based (utilizing existing rental properties) solutions.

Nanaimo is projected to grow significantly over the coming years. What measures would you propose to manage that growth sustainably and within existing city limits?

The city needs to focus on densifying its built up areas rather than focusing on areas that, with the expansion of the urban containment boundary to the limits of the municipal boundary, are at the edge of the municipality i.e. Cable Bay . This will make for a much more viable transit system, in turn decrease the need for individual vehicles, resulting in added congruent benefits to the environment.

The forestry crisis and wider economic slowdown has hit this area particularly hard. What response would you propose?

I would propose utilizing any such tax breaks or other benefits that are within the cities mandate. I would also strongly advocate for greater involvement of the provincial and federal governments where possible. The city must do everything within its means to protect union jobs and encourage the establishment of a minimum wage geared to the cost of living. While small business may be reticent in agreeing to this due to wage costs the benefits of citizens with greater income is that they will spend more in those very businesses.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nanaimo Neighbourhood Network Q & A

"The Nanaimo Neighbourhood Network works to facilitate the development of effective neighbourhood associations through shared information, consultation and collaboration between neighbourhood associations and our municipal government. We are an umbrella group with representatives of ALL recognized and developing neighbourhood associations. We believe (and our OCP states) that neighbourhoods are the building blocks of our community; neighbourhoods full of vitality, spirit, pride and participatory citizens make a stronger Nanaimo. Our goal is to encourage every neighbourhood in Nanaimo has a local association to hear the needs of residents."


Please tell us how and why you (should you be elected to our City Council) would support / develop / work with the Nanaimo Neighbourhood Network.

My response:

This may be tad unfair to others as I am the Vice Chair of the Neighbourhood Network and have been fully supportive of the group, its mandate, and its move to taking a greater advocacy role as the Umbrella group for Nanaimo 's recognized and developing neighbourhood associations. My experience with different Neighbourhood groups, South End Community Association as a director and currently vice chair, member of Neighbours of Nob Hill, acting treasurer of Nanaimo Old City Association, over the past 10 years shows my commitment to neighbourhoods and their development.

The revised Official Community Plan states in Goal 7.1, Neighbourhood and Area Planning, that "neighbourhood planning, and the development of Neighbourhood and Area Plans, is critical to achieving the objectives of planNanaimo." This is great and yet policy three states that "Neighbourhood and Area Plans will be adopted as amendments to planNanaimo and must be consistent with the policies of planNanaimo." Prior to the recent revision of Plan Nanaimo it was neighbourhhood plans that took precedent over the OCP while also working within the guidelines set out.

My personal opinion is that Nanaimo needs to revisit the Ward System so we have better representation on council from the different areas of Nanaimo . I believe we need to go back to the original Plan Nanaimo and put Neighbouhood Plans at the forefront of the Official Community Plan. When elected to council I will commit to fully supporting the goals and objectives of the Neighbourhood Network as well as the various Neighbourhood groups. I will also commit to pushing forward the implementation of neighbourhood plans in a speedy and orderly fashion.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Kudoes to NALT for putting on this all candidates meeting. It was however, from what I hear, a painful experience for many of the people that sat through the entire show. Having so many questions and getting the over 20 candidates present all to answer, randomly, each was just a bit too much for many people who ended up leaving before the end. By the time the forum ended less than half of the original folk attending were present. I know for a great many of the candidates the feeling was the same but when looked at this was good experience as well.

For those candidates without experience, who have never sat through a council meeting or a public hearing, this event offers simply a taste of things to come when elected. Council meetings can require much debate by elected officials and many issues will require them to sit through a large number of presentations by the public prior to debate. Public hearings on issues can see from 1 to 1000 people coming out to voice their opinion, something council must sit through and remain objective. Definitely not something for the uninitiated or those with little patience.

This brings home the value of the prior experience I personally have working with a number of boards and committees and in appearing, on a great many occasions, as a delegation before council or to speak at public hearings. Unfortunately only eight of the questions were asked but for those interested they can check out NALT's website to see the answers of all questions by all of the candidates that replied to the questionnaire. While my answers are below in the previous post I did when asked at the forum answer some differently than posted. The ability to do further research and adapt information gathered, that was previously unknown, is also an asset to sitting on council.