February 2018

As we count down to 8 months until Election Day, fellow OurNanaimoites, I think we all need to collectively catch our breath and ask ourselves, “What just happened?” We entered 2018, excited that it is finally Election Year, but also concerned that the pattern of unstable behaviour from our City Hall would continue to escalate. Boy, did we underestimate that one.

It is fair to say that we have reached – yet again – a new low: the RCMP seizing documents from City Hall, the City’s senior public servant being arrested, and security patrols at the homes of some of your Councillors. These developments are serious and challenge the principles of our democratic institutions. Sadly, these events seem to have been an inevitable progression over the last 3+ years: extrajudicial sanctions against political enemies by the Council majority; the slandering of opponents; and a shift in public discourse away from legitimate policy discussions and toward vitriol and vindictiveness.

There have been three groups of victims in the last three years:

  • City employees, who have largely remained professional and competent, and quietly carried out their duties, in what has increasingly become a toxic workplace;
  • Members of the Council minority who – whether we support them or think they are effective leaders or not – deserve to carry out their duties without threats, harassment, and spurious legal actions (defended against out of their own pockets);
  • And all of us: the citizens, residents, businesses, and taxpayers of Nanaimo. While our infrastructure continues to crumble, our City planning lacks vision, and our taxes continue to rise well above rate of inflation, we have been ignored by our municipal leadership, and are seen only as a cash cow for legal battles and hockey rinks. Rest assured, we the taxpayers will ultimately be left holding a massive bill because of the actions and inactions of this current administration.

So what do we do about it? Well, it is amazing how many of our fellow Nanaimoites are still unaware of what is happening in our City Hall. Please keep spreading the word. If we can inform and motivate more potential voters before October 20, we can elect the qualified, competent, knowledgeable, and respectful, honest, and ethical municipal leadership we need and deserve.

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, we will be at City Hall handing out tarts to City staff, to thank them for making it through an incredibly challenging period. Nobody deserves to be threatened in their workplace, so we want to show these staff that we support them. If you’d like to join us, we will be on Wallace Street in front of City Hall at 10 AM, February 14, with special guest, the Queen of Hearts.

Finally, CHLY 101.7 radio’s “A Sense of Justice” will be hosting a show on women in politics on February 28 at 6 pm. As the last 3 years in Nanaimo have demonstrated, we need more women in politics. Have a listen.