Please view my platform and endorsements from citizens. CLICK HERE

One week to go until we select our new leadership

The qualifications to become a candidate in municipal elections are extremely low while the qualifications to be a councillor are extremely high. 

We have 40 candidates for city council, but not even close to that number have what it takes to actually do the job of councillors. Look at it as though these candidates are applying for a job, and you are the employer conducting the interviews, because you really are.

Studying the candidates’presentations on you can read between the lines as to who stands out, and it’s quite clear cut with many of them. There are those who have studied what is required and can discuss the role with intelligence. The others, in too many cases, pontificate on issues that are way outside what council has jurisdiction over. 

See the assessment of who is getting the attention from readers HERE.


It's time for voters to do their homework on the election

It’s taken a lot of effort, and we finally have all the candidates we expect to profile on

Now comes the heavy lifting, all voters need to read what they have to say. This is a job application for them, and you are the prospective employers (voters) who will be paying the bills for the next four years based on the people you vote for. Would you hire them to look after $180-million of your money?

In editing the platforms and bios, it became clear that many had done their homework and know what they are talking about, and what lies ahead for them. But a number of the 40 candidates have no clue of what is involved in being a city councillor. 

The ones who have researched the job tend to get to the point and stay away from the bafflegab. Though it’s not a strict guideline, you can be guided by the number of platitudes and buzz words that are used – a fairly reliable indication that when you don’t know what the topic is all about, baffle ‘em with BS. 

One of my favourites: Collaboration – does that mean just sitting around and a failure to lead?

You’ll recognize them when you see them in their platforms.

So, get at it, read the information for the 38 council candidates and three for mayor as well as the 20 for school board. There’s also a list from the Regional District of Nanaimo and from Lantzville.

A lot of people have been demanding transparency and openness, well here it is, open and transparent. The only thing worse than an uninformed candidate is an uninformed voter.

Go to the appropriate sections in the menu bar at the top of this page.


Authorized by Iris Taylor, campaign manager

1010 - Flu shots are now available on a walk-in basis at London Drugs stores in Nanaimo. They will be followed by full flu clinics Oct. 22 and 23. London Drugs is also taking appointments for on-location flu shots at businesses.

What are we getting out of the LNG bonanza?

So who else gets a carbon tax and sales tax break besides the Chinese, Koreans, Mayaysians and Shell? Brian Peckford has serious concerns abou the rush to LNG development in B.C. Read his COMMENTARY HERE.

Run/Walk Out Hunger fundraiser Oct. 14 at Westwood Lake

0929 - Nanaimo;s 7-10 Club is gearing up for its fifth annual fundraiser in its ongoing efforts to feed the hungry people of Nanaimo.  Run/Walk Out Hunger will be held at Westwood Lake Park Oct.14.

Registration begins at 9 a.m., the time clock starts at 10 a.m. for the runners and 10:10 a.m. for walkers. 

The trail around Westwood Lake is approximately 6.3 Km, a totally enjoyable experience with nothing but natural beauty all along the way.

To date, this Fundraiser has generated $45,000 in helping feed the hungry people of Nanaimo.

For more information on the Nanaimo 7-10 Club please visit us at

If we learned one thing about the new U.S. Mexico Canada trade agreement, it's that Trudeau is no Mulroney. Brian Peckford takes an early look at how Canada fared. Read his commentary 


Slow and steady on the council team rebuilding process

0927 - You could call this a rebuilding year for the City Nanaimo – out with the old and in with the new.

Lest I lose some of the non-sports fans in the grandstand, let’s look at this like an NHL hockey team. Since you brought it up, like the Vancouver Canucks. They’re into a full-scale rebuild of their team, from the top down, not unlike city council.

We’re going to have a new general manager, that’s guaranteed. In alaphabetical order, either Don Hubbard or Len Krog. And we’ll have a number of new players, some due to retirements. And some won’t make the cut when the voters make the decision.

This is the point where the Canucks example comes in. They are not making wholesale changes, just a little at a time – you can’t just throw a full squad of rookies out there to fend for themselves. That’s why I’m encouraged that a number of veterans have come out of retirement in order to guide the rookies in their first season. That experience is invaluable, they can teach the newcomers a lot and keep them from making mistakes.

The same as there are advocates for the Canucks just to chuck the whole bunch of vets and start from the ground up, many Nanaimo citizens want to do exactly that with city council, and that would not be wise. Too many rookie mistakes can be extremely costly in the long run.

So before you trim your imaginary roster for council on voting day, remember the value of the veterans. 

Having served on city council, I believe the likes of Ian Thorpe, Gary Korpan and Jeet Manhas have too much experience to offer for voters to pass up. The new council will need that, especially with a new mayor at the helm. That’s what I’m going to keep in mind when I go to the polls.

Sheryl Armstrong appears to have shown enough promise in her rookie season to remain on the roster.

I will also prepare a list of people who appear to be best qualified to serve our city, that will come out about a week before the election, so keep your eyes open. There are a number who won’t make the cut, a large number, to be brutally frank.

I'm not trying to tell anyone whom to vote for, just to look at the whole picture. Use common sense.

Your views are welcome, please click to send your response.

COMMENTS: I respect your comments, but recycling former Council members is not an option for me.    I was not respectful of their in office records.  Further they offered last election and did not fare well.  I am prepared to place my confidence in some carefully selected rookies.     – Blake McGuffie

Housing alone is not the answer to tents

0923 - The inhabitants of downtown Nanaimo’s illegal tent encampment have been given three weeks to vacate 1 Port Drive – failing that, the city is empowered to clean them out.

Oh great, problem solved! Right?

Not so fast with the rental vans and trucks, exactly where will they go?

There’s a lot of questions about how many are truly homeless and how many are outside political agitators. It’s infested with drug consumption and trafficking, which of course leads to mental health issues.

Loading them, and those from other sites across the province, into trucks and vans and moving them out doesn’t solve anything. Giving temporary squatting assurance in provincial parks is still the same problem, only at a different location. Now you see them, now you don’t.

This seems to be the attitude of politicians, just move them out where we don’t see them and don’t have to deal with the real issue. This needs a solution rather than the merry go round of locations, politicians know they haven’t provided any solutions. As a matter of fact, they are running around merrily handing out money for pet projects with major political benefit to themselves. They seem happy with well-meaning local advocates who are not really knowledgeable about the root problem and push for action by local government.

So what should the province, and Ottawa do?

The first step is accepting that the number one problem is the national drug and mental health epidemic. Building facilities without stemming the addictions problem does not lessen the situation one iota. So that’s where to start.

Saying the cost is prohibitive is simply an excuse for inaction. They should have acted a lot earlier but they kept their heads in the sand, hoping the problem would go away. It hasn’t gone away, and it won’t go away.

There are many levels of needed action, starting at the ground level, it has to be an all-out battle against addictions and mental health. That would necessitate some legislative changes to allow forced treatment. Current “rights” legislation protects them from involuntary treatment and cure when they just worry about their next fix, not about treatment. Our society will likely never totally overcome the illicit drug scourge, but helping even some would take them off the streets.

Treatment involves being kept in a facility where withdrawal services also include a roof over their heads, three square meals a day, all medical needs and a warm dry bed. That’s not a guarantee they won’t become users in the future, statistics prove that.

Everyone is touting a housing solution, but that is hollow. If you skip that first step the actions will be futile, as it has already demonstrated. After treatment the next stage has to be ready to kick in. You can’t just “cure” addicts and then shove them out onto the street to fend for themselves. This is where the housing element comes in, with ongoing support services to lessen a return to the streets, and more drug use. Simply slapping up houses and not instituting the first stage is a waste of resources, money down the drain.

When levels of government argue they can’t afford the costs of such programs they are putting a lesser value on some human beings. At what point do they make the decision that some lives are not worth saving?

We can’t skip the first stage – treatment – and then hope that more housing will cure what’s wrong. We’re beyond bandaid solutions, we’re in the full hemorrhage stage, and bleeding out. Where’s the tourniquet?

We welcome your views, please click to send your response.

Too many civic election candidates are unaware

0921 - There’s an old saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. You have to wonder why some people add their names to the ballot for city council or school board and then do nothing to connect with voters. offers candidates a free web page to list their platform/biography and photo, but to date only 28 candidates have bothered. The other 12 seem out of touch, including two incumbent councillors. We separated those to a second (no-response) list so that readers don’t waste their time looking for non-existent postings. Too many are clueless about what is involved, or even what the qualifications are for the job. Sloganeering and buzz words are not what makes a good councillor or trustee. The least knowledgeable use the most slogans and buzz words.

In the administrative process of this site we see how many views each candidate’s page has received, giving a good indication of whom readers (voters) are paying attention to. Those who have not responded have meagre numbers.

For the record, when we introduced this in last year’s byelection the final results were very indicative of the numbers on this website. This time around, there are already some surprise high numbers for some candidates, and lower interest for some who would be considered top candidates.

Many of those who filed nominations are out of touch as to what’s involved in serving on council or the school board. It seems to be “exciting” to have your name on the ballot. Even though it's everyone's democratic right, some simply have no business being on the ballot.

There have been comments about how great it is to have this many names on the ballot, but from what we see, it only leads to voter confusion, watering down support for legitimate, serious candidates.

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