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Saturday, November 12, 2011

More in the News (actually posted Nov 18th)

Comments below on stories from both local newspapers.

Nov 18
Hot election issues may be shaking up voter apathy
We do indeed need to attract technology based jobs and work to create better opportunities for employment in Nanaimo. While we cannot rely on “pretty views” to attract business we can hype the assets we have in the community including these pretty views to attract business and people.

Concerned Citizens of Nanaimo will cooperate with police probe into election wrongdoing
True colours emerge from a couple of the candidates. It is never too late to disassociate oneself from something, especially if it is illegal and for Fillmore to call it silly and hype shows he simply has a disregard for the law.

Ron Bolin: Time to move on from housing debate and avoid bigger problems
Another excellent column

Turnout at advance polls in Nanaimo and Parksville well ahead of 2008 election

Opinion: Occupiers must move or be removed
Couldn't disagree more. If they were actually a problem then so be it move, but they are in fact not.

"The attitude of the Nanaimo occupiers seems to be that they are quite willing to share the square with others. The problem with that approach is that the occupiers, not the public through the city, end up controlling a space that belongs to us all."

The Krall Space is one of the most unused public spaces in the community. This group has kept the avenue open to the Library and Credit Union, the only two reasons for folk to even enter the plaza.

They are also responsible for bringing many into the downtown and hence spending money at downtown businesses.

Nov 17
Police will probe election activities of Nanaimo group

The big question is; for a group that pushes for transparency and communication why do the financial backers remain anonymous? There seems to be some hidden agenda by the CCN. I feel for those that are being snowed by this group, they should really be asking themselves who is actually behind this and what are the real motives.

Nanaimo's willingness to vote in civic elections has been waning each year
It is a shame that in an election which has the most potential to affect the population the population seems unwilling to take part. I hope this year we will see more people vote but I fear we will see even less than in 2008.

Editorial: Groups strive to fight apathy
A problem for years it is nice to see so many groups actually trying to encourage people to vote. The one problem I see is are people actually looking at the information on candidates or as is the case with the Concerned Citizens of Nanaimo being influenced by a hidden agenda.

Philip Wolf: Earn your right to complain by getting out to vote
Another reasonably good column

Nanaimo ranks third in BC on operational spending
“CFIB did not include capital expenditures in their study.” Had they done so Nanaimo would probably be at the bottom of the heap. It is not just the capital expenditures but the means with which they have gotten approval.

Nov 16
Forum rejigs civic election
This was a lot of fun to participate in. A pleasant change to the standard All Candidates meeting.

Occupiers meet with City and RCMP to discuss concerns on each side

Young Professionals of Nanaimo urge young people to vote
One of a few groups working to encourage voter turnout. Let’s hope it works.

Grants in-lieu from province top up city with $371K
With all the downloading onto municipalities by the Province far more monies should be coming our way.

Ruttan seeking second term to finish business
"With the recession over," Tell that to the majority of those in Nanaimo who struggle daily to make ends meet. Drop the issue of a hotel for the conference centre. We tried to give away part of Maffeo Sutton Park to get this going and that didn't work, if a hotel is not happy with the city giving them the property on which to build then so be it let it go.

Nov 15
Graduation rate on the rise in Nanaimo-Ladysmith District

This is indeed good news. All graduates deserve kudos for their hard work. Keep it up and let’s see these numbers increase even higher.
BC Child advocate reappointed
It is all well and good that the Child Advocate wants to expand her mandate but what should really happen is she should be given more power to actually implement change.
Child poverty on the rise (related story from July)
It is a sad state that Child Poverty in BC has been the highest in Canada since the Liberal government came to power in 2001.

Nanaimo is particularly hard hit with high unemployment and a service based industry that pays little and often only offers part time employment. While the recent raise of the minimum wage will help I have my doubts that it will have that great of an impact.

Nov 14

Job creation among the topics in Nanaimo election
Councillors cannot create jobs but what they can do is work to make things better towards creating a more diversified work force. Limited Tax incentives, not at all like those proposed in an attempt to attract a Hotel for the conference centre, and a smoother process for development that benefits the community are things that can be done.

I constantly hear how difficult getting permits can be and how if you speak to more than one person the answers you get will more often than not be different. A smoother process is necessary so that we don't have things like the 5 months that it took just to get a permit to raise the height of the storage space at the food bank.

Walter Cordery: Department aids community
Our parks are one of Nanaimo's greatest assets and the more we can do to protect and enhance them the better. Some thought now needs to go into how we can purchase a large part of the undeveloped privately owned land in West Linley Valley.

Not only will our parks benefit the citizens of Nanaimo into the future they will also be an attractor for tourism and people moving to Nanaimo for the quality of life it has to offer. Our Parks need to be part of the new Economic Development Corporations overall agenda to create jobs by bringing business and tourism into the community..

Green light group emerges in support of low-barrier housing
Finally a group that is willing to put out actual information.

Council candidates debate issues among groups
As stated above, a lot of fun. Video of the event can be found at

Addiction treatment in strong demand
Treatment and detox for all kinds of addiction issues are much needed in BC. Expanded from the original 42 days operated by Surfside; Nanaimo John Howard has taken the program to 4 months which should give people accessing the program a far better chance of success.
When we look at the issue of Housing the Homeless and Low-Barrier housing we also have to put in place programs that will help those accessing the housing who have addictions. This one will be a big help but more and varied programs are needed.

Nanaimo Council Candidates
Not very in depth information for people looking at the candidates and trying to choose whom to vote for. Probably said this number of times but it behoves folk to look at all aspects of a candidate and make an informed decision.

If one has a few council candidates they particularly like for the position then they should limit their votes to just those candidates. Picking more, or all 8 in Nanaimo, could result in those one is iffy on actually beating out the candidates they person likes.

Column: Homelessness is everyone's problem
An excellent column by Rachel Stern of the Bulletin. She has an excellent grasp of the situation of homelessness and the many needs t address it. Rachel is one of my favourite reporters and has done some excellent stories in the past on homelessness and poverty.

North end residents need a wake up call

Perhaps the best letter I have seen on the housing of the homeless issue. This from a student at Dover Bay who had also wanted his opinion published in the school paper and was denied.

Supporters need to follow rules
Citizen group acts from a place of fear
Couple of good letters from the bulletin re the CCN groups illegal endorsement of candidates. Re the latter I believe the group knows exactly what they are doing and there is an underlying motive. If in fact, as rumours have it, Roger McKinnon and Norad Development are indeed funding the fear promoting ads and misleading the public as to why they should vote for their slate of candidates then charges should be laid by the RCMP.

Nov 12
A democratic lesson in misstep by CCN
There will be more on this issue as I have been in contact with a person who will be pushing for an investigation.

Nov 10
Concerned Citizens agree they are now campaign organizers

"Some city council hopefuls endorsed by the group say they did not give permission for their names to be used in campaign, but are unconcerned the group may have over-stepped the law." “But they also say they're unconcerned about any potential missteps made the group previously as unregistered campaign organizers.”
So let me get this straight; it is okay for some people to break the law and not others? Something is very wrong with this picture.

“Inglis said he has been involved in election campaigns at all government levels..."
One group with previous experience at all level was not aware and another with no experience was; something fishy here.

For a group that espouse to value transparency and open communication they have still not released the names of those funding their campaign.

This story has garnered more comments than any other; they are well worth the read.

Lobby groups may have crossed line into campaigning
No may here they did.
Election Promises: new council may find it difficult to cut taxes
Difficult but not impossible:)

Groups election efforts under fire as campaigning
As well they should be and charges should be laid.

Agriculture issue demands action
Solution should have been simple
A couple of well written letters on the Lantzville Urban Farming issue. As Municipal elections draw near, on November 19th, I hope that those living in the District of Lantzville will elect some progressive candidates to bring in a progressive bylaw.

Occupy group says they won't leave downtown plaza
Good for them.

Two candidates clarify stance on Uplands housing
Doesn’t surprise me that Jeet has flipped but Brunie on the other hand does.

Battle over low-barrier housing could have implications for candidates
It would be really sad if people simply choose one issue on which to base their vote. Really sad indeed.

Nov 8
Controversial project has industry officials at odds with politicians
A lot of coulds and maybes involved here. This Tax Break is a bad idea and if even the hoteliers in Nanaimo are saying so then it should not happen. Even if, big if, there were to be a new hotel it would not provide the rooms that are needed for what has been said to attract bigger conventions.

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