Local elections 2022: Nanaimo youth put questions to candidates. Here are the answers.

City of Nanaimo candidates answer student questions related to climate change, services for unhoused residents, sidewalks and more.
A line of students walk out of the front entrance to a school building and across a street. All seem to be ages 14-18, some are wearing masks.
Dover Bay Secondary School is one of six secondary schools in the school district. Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools reside within the traditional territories of the Snuneymuxw, Snaw-Naw-As and Stz’uminus First Nations. Photo courtesy of SD68/Facebook

Students studying politics and social studies at Dover Bay Secondary spent a large part of the fall term following the City of Nanaimo candidate campaigns in the lead-up to B.C. local elections 2022. 

At The Discourse, our mandate is to fill in gaps in local reporting by listening to community members whose voices are typically excluded from public dialogue. To meaningfully include youth in our municipal election coverage, The Discourse reached out to Alistair King, who leads social studies education in Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools, and Allison MacLeod who teaches political studies 12 at Dover Bay Secondary to find out what questions students had for candidates. 

The students compiled 42 general questions and a series of additional questions directed at specific candidates. We selected the following six general questions based on recurring themes and invited candidates to answer in a few sentences to help inform your vote on Oct. 15.

Two of the four mayoral candidates responded. Leonard Krog and Agnes Provost did not reply by deadline. 

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Sixteen out of 29 candidates running for city council responded. Sheryl D Armstrong, Ken Bennett, Tyler J Brown, Derek D Hanna, Erin Hemmens, Jay Krishan, Shirley D Lambrecht, Frank Pluta, Peter D Poole, Norm E Smith, Robb Squire, Ian Thorpe and David Wang did not reply by deadline.

The responses were lightly copy-edited for clarity. Candidates’ responses are displayed in the order they were received.

“If you were to get elected, what would be your first step towards making Nanaimo a better place?

— Henry M., Grade 10

Brunie Brunie (mayor)

I would power wash the dirty downtown core, remove the cars and create a people friendly square without deadly emissions.

Zeni Maartman 

Follow the five goals in the Official Community Plan (ReImagine Nanaimo). A green, connected (accessibility), healthy, empowered (truth and reconciliation) and prosperous Nanaimo. Implement the plans that feed into these goals.

Don Bonner 

I would be looking to set up the public engagement to action the goals in the new City Plan.

Corey A Trinkwon 

When elected I first want to look at increasing transit and family focussed organizations.

Mike Hartlaub 

I would use every resource possible including withholding taxes from the Provincial Government to get Riverview mental health institution reopened. This would accomplish several things which includes getting people with mental health issues the help they need, and also alleviate some pressure that the police and bylaw enforcement have been dealing with in regards to the mentally ill individuals.

Alan G MacDonald 

Assign a lawyer to criminal cases of repeat offenders to represent community and citizen safety.

Paul P Chapman 

I’d make motions to direct staff to create a list of large and unique habitat areas for protection through zoning or acquisition; to bring to the Union of BC Municipalities a resolution on the province developing a plan to enact vacancy controls to prevent unreasonable increases in housing rental prices; and to create a fast track for development applications that include a significant percentage of affordable housing (30% of income).

Janice Perrino 

Ask the Council and the Regional District to sign a letter of support for the expansion of the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, ask that the topic of Safety & Security be added to the (Official Community Plans), and ask for zoning to be changed downtown for more residential housing there for revitalizing the area.

Gary R Korpan 

Work to get proper mental health service and housing for the homeless; enforce public safety laws; stop wasteful spending and control the City budget. Thanks for asking.

Jeff Annesley 

Being tough on crime to make the city a safer place to live.

Hilary Eastmure 

I will push for city policies to be updated to permit tiny homes and more secondary suites to offer a range of housing options that are more affordable. Nanaimo must take a more active role in supporting the construction of co-op housing, and work closely with BC Housing to identify locations for more affordable housing and supportive housing units for people of all ages, including accessible units reserved for those with mobility challenges. I would also like to bring in free transit in the city for all students (including university students), seniors and low income residents.

Peter Lee 

My top priority is public safety. I will push for better street lighting, more policing resources, and targeted bylaw enforcement against nuisance houses. I will also push for collaboration with local non-profits to advocate for more mental health and addictions funding from the provincial government.

Tasha Brown (mayor)

I believe the social issues such as homelessness and crime are two of the biggest issues our city faces, so I would begin by allocating money towards building proper facilities that support the various types of homeless on the streets (detox/rehab for the drug addicted, care facilities for the mentally ill, and supportive and affordable housing for those who are disabled). This all costs money, so besides pressuring upper- level governments for some serious funding, I would be interested in holding fundraising events to at least start the process. In combination with finding shelter and support for the homeless, I would also be directing funds towards the community policing group, to ensure we have a presence in the “hot crime zones” throughout the city.

Ben J Geselbracht 

Passing some key policies that will increase the amount of affordable housing available. These policies include, expanding property types where carriage houses are allowed, pre-zoning land for affordable rental housing, and pre zoning land to match density targets in the official community plan.

Michael Ribicic 

The first step I would take is to review, restructure, and reinstate city committees. This includes, the Nanaimo Youth Advisory Council and bringing forward a recruitment rubric for City committees to ensure adequate representation for our city as a whole.

Viraat B Thammanna 

Public Safety and Security.

Nick M Greer 

Hi Henry, Nanaimo is already a great place to live, work, and raise a family. But our serious crime index has risen dramatically (up 44% on one index, in just 1 year) and many residents no longer feel safe in the downtown area. I’d like to implement a new community safety plan, hire more RCMP officers, and revitalize the downtown core of Nanaimo to make it a safe, vibrant, and exciting place to be.

Paul Manly 

Nanaimo has become unaffordable for many workers, families and people on fixed incomes. My first priority will be to work with senior levels of government towards creating more affordable housing in Nanaimo, including non-profit housing, supportive housing and co-op housing.

“What are your plans to make sure homeless people have somewhere to sleep, use the bathroom, and eat safely every day?”  

— Lola K., Grade 10

Brunie Brunie (mayor) 

Allow poor homeless to camp on designated empty land with washroom and cooking facilities.

Zeni Maartman 

Continue to work with the province to provide supportive wrap around services to those that need this type of housing, work with developers to build purpose built non market housing that is rent to income, and provide complex therapeutic care to the hardest to house with addictions/brain injuries. In the meantime as we work with the province to continue to support shelter housing and the winter programs – we do provide showers and bathrooms year round.

Don Bonner 

I plan on pushing council to spend more money on building shelters in our city. We presently can only shelter 15% of our homeless population. We need small enclosures to house up to 12 people in 24/7 shelters. Providing food and health services.

Corey A Trinkwon 

I want to work with organizations and groups to help get the people suffering with mental health off the streets

Mike Hartlaub 

I would like to see a “hand up” approach to the homeless rather than the current “hand out” policies. We need to focus on helping people off the street who want to help themselves. I believe that enabling people does nothing but create a bigger problem.

Alan G MacDonald 

Pressure the Provincial Government to deliver on their promises.

Paul P Chapman 

I would seek to expand the shower, laundry and locker programs to allow a place to be clean and keep possessions safe, support not-for-profits administering shelters and other services for the unhoused, and provide appropriately zoned and situated properties to be ready to build housing and services as funding comes available from senior governments.

Janice Perrino 

Work far more closely with the Provincial Government to agree to more medical beds for those who are suffering from drug addiction and mental illness because they have to get well enough to be able to readjust to society. Also, to work with the local societies to ensure that more shelter spaces are available for those most in need. Also, more housing needs to be built for those who just need a bit of help to get back up on their feet.

Gary R Korpan 

We need proper senior government support to provide mental health services and housing to the homeless. I have wide experience in convincing federal and provincial governments to act on Nanaimo’s issues. Thanks for asking.

Jeff Annesley 

I live near a lot of homelessness and there isn’t much we can do. Many of these people like the freedom of being homeless. The best thing we can do is be tough on crime because it will take the violent people off the streets and make it safer for everyone including the homeless.

Hilary Eastmure 

We need to push for more provincial funding to support the creation of more shelter beds and outdoor spaces for people to safely camp, as we only have 48 beds that are consistently available, 14 beds reserved for women, and a very limited number of beds for at-risk youth between 12-18 years old. There is only one public bathroom stall in Nanaimo that is open 24 hours a day so we need to establish more bathrooms city-wide that are open all the time, and expand the free shower program at Caledonia Park from 5 to 7 days a week. We also need to raise awareness about our existing emergency food providers and help support and fund the front-line agencies and organizations that already offer meals throughout the day.

Peter Lee 

Housing is under provincial jurisdiction, so collaborating with the province to bring more housing resources into Nanaimo is my priority. Nanaimo needs housing at every income level and every need, so pairing mental health and addictions treatment with new and existing transitional housing projects will make a positive impact to keep people off the street long-term.

Tasha Brown (mayor) 

My vision would see that Nanaimo would not have a homeless “problem”. Rather, I would be rallying for funding and proper facilities that could house and support the various types of homeless (see answer to question 1 for more detail). Until those facilities are established, I would support the existing organizations that are helping the homeless, like the Unitarian and St. Andrews churches(who supply cots to sleep on), the Selby Street Mission and other groups that feed the homeless. Whether we like it or not, the homeless ARE a part of the community, and we cannot continue to just sweep them into the woods – things must change and soon!

Ben J Geselbracht 

We need to ensure that there is sufficient shelter spaces for people living experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo. We must also continue with our shower program at Caledonia Park. We must also continue to support the meal programs offered in the city.

Michael Ribicic 

I will listen to the needs of the non-profits in our community that largely help to facilitate these programs. I will work closely with the province to secure funding and services.

Viraat B Thammanna 

Nanaimo already has shelters, however these are not enough because the provincial government needs to start treatment mandates. Through the Mayor along with fellow Councilors I will engage with Ministry of Housing and Ministry of Mental Health & Addiction to set up treatment centers and temporary shelters ASAP

Nick M Greer 

Hi Lola, I’d prefer if we could solve the homelessness problem by providing more supported accommodation and treatment options. Homelessness is often accompanied by drug abuse and mental health issues, and these issues must also be tackled. I have volunteered on the board of drug rehabilitation and supported accommodation organizations, and the City needs to do a much better job of partnering with these groups.

Paul Manly 

I am the Executive Director of the Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter. We provide shelter, dinner and breakfast to 25 guests every night. We also run a shower program for unhoused people at Caledonia Park. I will work with the city council, city staff and senior levels of government to expand access to programs and services like this while we wait for more affordable housing to be built.

“What are you gonna do about people almost getting hit on the roads because there’s no sidewalks

— Sage V., Grade 10

Brunie Brunie (mayor) 

People are more important than cars, safe sidewalks must be enacted.

Zeni Maartman 

Tough question. The city was built in a time when sidewalks were not part of the development. We have 91,000 kms of streets. New developments must install sidewalks and contribute to the neighbourhood, and to keep costs (taxes) down we will build sidewalks when we have to dig up streets for pipe replacement etc. We monitor along with ICBC, the RCMP Traffic Division to gather data and we do have a list of priorities for new sidewalks to be built. We increased the budget from $300,000 to $1,000,000 for the year.

Don Bonner 

People rarely get hit by cars on streets with no sidewalks. They get hit crossing the flow of traffic. We need more flashing light crosswalks and we need to slow the speed of cars. I would push again for a reduction of the residential speed limit to 40km.

Corey A Trinkwon 

I will work with Nanaimo highways to improve our roads

Mike Hartlaub 

This City like many others has a very large deficit in regards to its infrastructure budget. I would like to see a change in what the City is required to put away for funds to build things like sidewalks but this would require the budget to be cut in other areas. I would like to see the cuts to create the funding to come from the City staff where I believe the City could streamline the workforce.

Alan G MacDonald 

Redeploy funds from luxury bike lanes to sidewalks and barriers in high pedestrian/school access zones

Paul P Chapman 

Until sidewalks are built on priority and secondary routes, I would seek to lower the speed limit in residential and other areas to 30 km/h unless otherwise posted. At 30km/h the rate of serious injury and death goes way down.

Janice Perrino 

All of the major routes, especially near schools, need to have at least one side of the road with a sidewalk. We need to have a plan where every major route has a sidewalk on one side, and we need that list of what is getting done and when where the public can review it, so they know when their area is being done.

Gary R Korpan 

Due to a long history of earlier governments not protecting wide enough road right of ways for public services such as sidewalks, and bike lanes, Nanaimo has many areas without such safety services. I will encourage Public Works to make safety sidewalks or walking shoulders a priority, instead of duplicating gold plated upgrades like the overkill on Metral Drive. Thanks for asking.

Jeff Annesley 

We have to look at multiple factors with such infrastructure. How much does it cost? How will it affect the vehicle traffic? How many people in that particular neighbourhood want that infrastructure?

Hilary Eastmure 

The city dedicated extra funds to sidewalk upgrades in the last budget and I want that increase made permanent, and substantially increased if possible. Walking is an important form of active transportation and we should be prioritizing building sidewalks, especially around schools, community centres, shopping centres, and other city amenities. We also need better lighting along city streets at night and illuminated crosswalks (with sonic and tactile cues to assist visually impaired pedestrians) in more areas to help people safely cross the street.

Peter Lee 

Nanaimo needs a comprehensive sidewalk strategy, integrated with the City’s active transport plan. Identifying street sections with high pedestrian volume, identifying areas with existing need (near schools, clinics, and high-density neighbourhoods), and forming a strategy to prioritise sidewalk construction/maintenance is key to ameliorating the sidewalk issue.

Tasha Brown (mayor) 

I have already spoken with several citizen associations, who have voiced concerns over the dangerous roads in their neighbourhood and the lack of sidewalks in their areas. I believe safety is imperative, and rather than spending money on costly “beautification” projects, citizen safety should be the priority. Once those concerns are addressed, then the city could resume projects that enhance our city.

Ben J Geselbracht 

We must continue to increase investment in safe pedestrian infrastructure.

Michael Ribicic 

When it comes to sidewalks and complete streets, I want to prioritize high use pedestrian areas where safety is a real concern, such as school areas. I will also look at implementing complete streets for those that warrant them and when the road is due for maintenance.

Viraat B Thammanna 

Building sidewalks is a huge challenge as of now due to cost and the city has no funds for that. Nanaimo has 567 kilometers of paved roads, it is almost impossible to build sidewalks by all roads as of now. Can do phase by phase without raising property taxes. I would promote awareness programs, better traffic plans with balanced user friendly infrastructure for road safety.

Nick M Greer 

Hi Sage, there are areas in Nanaimo that have very poor sidewalk coverage. The City has consistently not prioritized sidewalks, and I would push for a sidewalk plan that prioritises roads near schools where children walk and areas with low sidewalk coverage.

Paul Manly 

I will work on expanding the network of sidewalks and cycling routes in the city. We need to focus on areas where there is the greatest need for safety. In areas where upgrades are being done to sewers, water or roads, it makes good sense to ensure that sidewalks are part of the plan, as well as bike lanes where it’s appropriate.

“What steps will you take to help with climate change?

— Siana B., Grade 10

Brunie Brunie (mayor) 

Really good public transit stations with bathroom and food vendors for people friendly travel. Green lane from ferry for rollerblade, scooter, bike and SKATEBOARD NANAIMO

Zeni Maartman 

We must do what we can at a local level and think globally. Continue to work on lowering our greenhouse gases, using electric vehicles at the city, aiming for zero waste with recycling. Support new technology like the Waste Treatment Plant at Duke Point. Support local agriculture and food security.

Don Bonner 

Implementing on the goals of the city plan on the environment would be a first step. a moratorium on new LNG connections in the city would be another step. Increasing transit as per our report that I chaired would also help.

Corey A Trinkwon 

I plan on increasing transit and increasing bike lanes where appropriate.

Mike Hartlaub 

Canada is a very responsible country when it comes to addressing climate change. I would much rather the Federal Government of Canada stop the sale of coal to China which is the world’s largest producer of Carbon which is what is contributing to climate change.

Alan G MacDonald 

Protect our Nanaimo River (our drinking water) and reduce solid waste with stronger rules and more recycling

Paul P Chapman 

In terms of mitigation I would seek to electrify Nanaimo’s vehicles and buildings – we need to take our foot off the gas. I would also seek to secure significant stands of nearby forest for their carbon capture attributes. In terms of adaptation, I would seek to identify large and unique habitats, natural systems such as creeks and other watersheds, and connective green corridors between watersheds for the relief they provide in a warming world, the ecosystem services they deliver as municipal core services and for their bolstering of biodiversity.

Janice Perrino 

Every bus that is due to be replaced (as they age out) has to be replaced with a new bus that is electric. We need more charging stations, and we need better rebates for homeowners to make their homes energy efficient. Also, every apartment, condo and multi-family housing, business and schools must have the opportunity to recycle and have compost pickup, just like every home has now.

Gary R Korpan 

When I was Mayor I started the transformation of the City vehicle fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles. I personally drive an all electric car. I pushed through the bylaw to stop backyard burning. I support the change to hydrogen and electric buses. I shut down the hazardous waste incinerator at the hospital. Thanks for asking.

Jeff Annesley 

Nanaimo is already a green city and there’s nothing we can do to stop big polluting countries like China and India. I believe it’s important we make changes individually, not by force of government.

Hilary Eastmure 

An expanded public transportation system that serves more areas and is free for all students and low-income residents will help cut down on the number of cars on the road and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Building more affordable and supportive housing that uses green technology and high efficiency energy systems will help save energy and produce less greenhouse gasses. We also need to enhance city parks, trails and green spaces with more trees, native plants and edible gardens, and protect existing forests, riparian areas and wildlife habitat corridors that act as natural carbon sinks.

Peter Lee 

I believe that Nanaimo urgently needs an extreme weather response strategy. Cooling/warming centres, air filter/mask distribution for vulnerable populations in case of wildfires, and strategies to deal with winter storms are necessary to prepare Nanaimo for a future with more frequent extreme weather.

Tasha Brown (mayor) 

Nanaimo is surrounded with the “solution to our pollution”. And we could be a carbon neutral city if we protect our forests from being clearcut, and support selective logging practices instead. Additionally, the city of Nanaimo needs to provide more green friendly grants for residents to invest in, such as solar panels and cisterns. The City of Nanaimo (and the residents) should and could be watering its gardens and plants with water collected in cisterns, rather than using/wasting drinking water for such purposes.

Ben J Geselbracht 

Set ambitious goals to reduce our emissions. Expand public transit and active transportation infrastructure. Set regulations that will require new buildings and homes being upgraded to install heat pump electric heating systems.

Michael Ribicic 

Some of my steps include: supporting the City’s effort to achieve clean built infrastructure; looking at ways to attract clean industry in Nanaimo and retaining it; and working collaboratively with the RDN and the province to advocate for increased and more frequent bus service.

Viraat B Thammanna 

Introducing new By-Laws to promote using alternative eco-friendly sustainable materials & methods for construction of new residential and commercial complexes. Encouraging onsite grey water treatment mini plant for toilet flush, watering garden and other suitable uses. Harvesting rainwater, solar energy and wind energy. Advocating for alternative environmental friendly transpiration. Encouraging citizen to use Bicycles and E-bikes for commuting and carpool network. Switching into heat compressor for all new homes. Planting trees by side walks all over city.

Nick M Greer 

Hi Siana, lots of people are concerned about climate change, and there are many people who try to win votes by promising that they can solve the problem by declaring an ’emergency’ or taking similar steps. I would encourage you to investigate whether the steps they are proposing will make any measurable difference when countries like China are building 210 high greenhouse gas emitting coal plants per year. Ask these candidates if they support serious solutions that produce measurable results, such as do they support zero emission nuclear power, or do they support the zero emission Site C Hydro project – many claiming to care about climate change oppose these real solutions.

Paul Manly 

We need to do everything we can to lower our greenhouse gas emissions, including making buildings more energy-efficient, and electrifying our transportation, heating and cooling. We need to create more green space and protect biodiversity. We must also ensure that our community becomes more resilient by localizing our economy,  strengthening emergency preparedness, and supporting local food production so we are less dependent on global supply chains.

“How will you help expand on Nanaimo’s tourism/culture/economy?

— Daniel G., Grade 12

Brunie Brunie (mayor) 

SKATEBOARD NANAIMO, a fun green tourist destination.

Zeni Maartman 

The City this term created the Tourism Nanaimo Board that will work with all the tourism, arts and entertainment sectors in Nanaimo. Tourism is focusing on sports tourism, events, festivals as well as appealing to nature lovers, with superb biking trails that are now mapped out. Tourism Nanaimo works closely with NHA – Nanaimo Hospitality Association (Hotels etc) and offers attractive packages to our City to promote our friendly, beautiful City.

Don Bonner 

I’m presently on the Tourism Board in Nanaimo and I would continue that work to build on the resources we presently have to promote tourism. Presently we are in a strategic planning session for tourism in our city. I’m a big supporter of more Festivals and Arts and Culture events.

Corey A Trinkwon 

I would love to increase the Community events and revitalize downtown Nanaimo.

Mike Hartlaub 

I would like to see the downtown crime level addressed which would attract more business and people. I would also like to see the amazing waterfront utilized for street entertainers and buskers. I believe the combination of the two would also make Nanaimo much more of a destination for cruise ships.

Alan G MacDonald 

Develop a Non-profits for Sports and Arts Councils and implement sport and cultural tourism plans.

Paul P Chapman 

Nanaimo’s easy access to the outdoors in our forests and waterways are an incredible feature that we could promote. I support exploring ways to fill empty commercial spaces in the downtown and beyond with studios for artists and others from the creative sector. Active recreation opportunities, vibrant culture combined with efforts toward affordable housing attract employers and workforces.

Janice Perrino 

We need the walk-way built from downtown right through to the area by the Beefeaters restaurant. We also need to improve the downtown by bringing in more family events, so that people will want to visit the area. I also believe we need to endorse more Provincial sports activities for people to come to Nanaimo.

Gary R Korpan 

First we clean up all the litter and pollution on our streets and beaches. We stop the vandalism and get the criminals to repair the damage they’ve done. We get the Vancouver to Nanaimo fast ferry going again. We make sure the Conference Centre is properly managed and the long overdue hotel opened. Thanks for asking.

Jeff Annesley 

Firstly, make Nanaimo safer. Secondly, paying off city debt and lowering the tax burden on small and medium sized businesses will create an economically attractive city and promote growth.

Hilary Eastmure 

The city should actively support more festivals and events downtown that are open to the public, like an annual mural festival that would both beautify the downtown and attract tourists, and work with the Snuneymuxw First Nation on creating more Indigenous cultural events. I would like to see Nanaimo establish a Centre for the Arts that features affordable/accessible studio and gallery/performance space for artists and performers to help bolster the local arts economy. Arts and culture is a central part of our local economy and a big part of what draws tourists to the region, so we need to treat it as such and remove it from under the umbrella of Parks, Recreation & Culture where it doesn’t get the attention it deserves, since Parks and Recreation tends to dominate (for example, of the 19 items listed under the 2022-2026 Project Plan for the Facilities Infrastructure and Amenities Program – Renewal Projects and Programs, only 7 are dedicated culture/arts-specific facilities, with the vast majority of the funding for those 7 facilities ($1.24 of $1.32 million) going to only one facility – the Port Theatre).

Peter Lee 

Nanaimo needs a solid social foundation to grow our economy on. Making sure city streets are safe, streamlining the process to open/operate businesses, and increasing opportunities for the creative economy are necessary steps to ensure Nanaimo’s long-term economic well-being.

Tasha Brown (mayor) 

First things first – we have to get our city back to a presentable place – after solutions to our homeless and crime are in order, I would like to promote our city as a recreation destination – we have so many parks, beaches, mountains and trail systems established, which could be utilized for eco and adventure tourism with minimal costs. Also, our waterfront walk is gorgeous, but underutilized- it should be bustling with events, artists, food trucks, buskers and gatherings – it’s a missed tourist opportunity in my opinion. Lastly, my long term dream would put Nanaimo on the map for a world class attraction, such as an indoor water park, which would provide a wealth of benefits to our community.

Ben J Geselbracht 

Improve the local art gallery. Continue to provide grant funding to help put on local cultural events. Invest to keep the city streets clean and safe.

Michael Ribicic 

I will work hard at strengthening our arts and culture community, along with encouraging more public events and spaces. A city that is rich in arts and culture is also rich in tourism and community, so we need to look at ways to enhance that, I.E,, more public art, celebrating local talent, etc. Economically we need to speed up approval processing times for both residential and commercial buildings and we need to work closely with the Port, VIU, and the hospital.

Viraat B Thammanna 

In order to attract tourists we need to clean and make the city safe and attractive. Through council I will be collaborating with experts and critics to make this happen. Canada has been made out of immigrants from various countries from all over the world. We have diverse Arts & Culture, and love to encourage it. Constantly do everything possible to support local businesses and attract investments for a sustainable economy.

Nick M Greer 

I think the former Nanaimo Ports Authority Chair was correct when he said that Nanaimo lacks any strong attraction for tourism. We need a focal point, or something big that tourists want to come to in Nanaimo – or otherwise they pass through Nanaimo rather than staying and enjoying our city. Some of the options proposed in the past have been a marine life centre, a ‘Nanaimo Eye’ Ferris Wheel or amusement park – these sort of attractors would bring tourism, vitality and investment to our downtown area.

Paul Manly 

The City of Nanaimo can expand the tourism/culture economy by making the downtown more vibrant and safe, by supporting local festivals and cultural celebrations and by supporting the addition and expansion of cultural spaces in the city. We should be working closely with the Snuneymuxw First Nation on arts and culture festivities, including events on Saysutshun, at Maffeo Sutton Park, and sporting events such as the annual canoe races.

How will you ensure that the promises you make will be fulfilled by the next election?

If you’re re-elected, what did you promise that you didn’t achieve? And will you do it this time?

 — Hazel E. and Kalan S., Grade 10

Brunie Brunie (mayor) 

I will diligently strive to keep my promises for a cleaner greener happier Nanaimo

Zeni Maartman 

I have learned in politics that an individual should not make promises, as it is not an individual that makes decisions. All decisions are the will collectively of the Council. What I can do is work collaboratively, do my research, and try to influence decisions based on the knowledge you bring to the table on the topic. What I did say last election was I wanted to see downtown revitalized. We have spent a couple of years with the street planning/designing/budgeting etc – what I want to see is plans completed. My promise is to always do my best, do my research, be available for those who wish to engage those promises I can make.

Don Bonner 

On my website www.bonner.ca you will see the promises I made 4 years ago and you can see for yourself what I have done. Lowering barriers to getting more diversity on council and engaging youth is probably the one thing that I wasn’t able to achieve as much as I wanted to. I’ll definitely be pushing for that in the next council.

Corey A Trinkwon 

My hope is when elected that like-minded people are elected as well so we fight to get the funding needed to improve our city and put the money where it’s most needed

Mike Hartlaub 

One promise I would make that I know I can keep is that I will promise that I will not give myself a raise the whole term I am in office.

Alan G MacDonald 

Keep the focus local and the goals SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Paul P Chapman 

I think many of these issues will be ongoing and last beyond the four year election cycle. I’ll spend my efforts building relationships on council, with staff and the community to move my promises into actions and to keep them moving forward with broad support.

Janice Perrino 

I spent 12 years on a previous council in Summerland. I was both a Councillor for two terms and a Mayor for two terms. We completed everything we promised to the public, including a hospital expansion, road and sidewalk improvements, waste-water and the water treatment facilities and we built a new RCMP detachment. I intend to make sure we accomplish our goals, if I’m lucky enough to be elected.

Gary R Korpan 

It takes 5 votes for Council to act on anything. My experience on getting Council to agree on action takes perseverance and dedication to fixing real problems faced by our community. My record of achievement for the public good is excellent. I will work hard to make you proud you voted for me. Thanks for asking. Gary Korpan, for City Council

Jeff Annesley 

I will have to work with other councillors and non elected government officials to implement what I propose. That will require debate and input from those citizens who support my platform.

Hilary Eastmure 

I will work constructively and collaboratively with Nanaimo City Councillors, city staff, community groups, business owners, stakeholders, and developers to bring positive change for all Nanaimo residents. My only promise is that I will work hard, do my research, read the agendas in advance, make time to meet with anyone who wants to meet with me, and do my very best to be a productive, positive member of Nanaimo City Council. I will make it my full-time job to serve Nanaimo residents as a City Councillor.

Peter Lee

I want to be held accountable by the electorate. If elected, I will be holding monthly town hall meetings to chat with residents, in addition to providing monthly online updates on council items and the reasoning behind my votes.

Tasha Brown (mayor) 

Have you met me? Smiles – if you had, you would know that I am a VERY persistent individual, with a “boots to the ground” leadership style – I will get to the heart of the matters, and won’t be intimidated nor deterred at the efforts it may take to accomplish my goals.

Ben J Geselbracht 

This will be my second term. Most items I promised were fulfilled although I would like to see more results next term on improving the homelessness situation. This will require the city in taking more leadership in helping to coordinate a health, housing and community safety response. We can help the province more efficiently invest in Nanaimo and get the supportive housing we need built more quickly.

Michael Ribicic 

I plan on being consistent with working towards the goal of a better Nanaimo. I plan on working collaboratively to achieve policies and changes. It is my goal and vision to be able to look back four years from now and be able to say that I worked hard every day for the citizens of Nanaimo and that I have made a positive impact.

Viraat B Thammanna 

I am not a present Councilor, I alone cant make any promise as the city requires a team of Councilors and a Mayor to make things happen. If elected, I can passionately work with fellow Councilors towards the goals for the wellness of communities. I have Business Management academics with decades of corporate business management and military operations experience with a proven success track, hence I am confident that I can work full time to bring positive changes in our city.

Nick M Greer 

Great question Hazel and Kalan – I have been an Elected Member before in Australia, and I was proud that at the end of my term I had 3 pages of accomplishments that someone prepared. I don’t want to be a seat warmer on Council, residents expect that Councillors are active and accomplish for their community.

Paul Manly 

The only promises I make are that I will work hard, I will listen to constituents, I will do my research and I will make decisions that are in the best interests of all concerned. I have outlined what I will work towards, but the success of that work will depend on the cooperation of other council members and that of the provincial and federal governments.

For more of our election coverage, read how Nanaimo Ladysmith School District trustee candidates plan to protect children’s rights.

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