Trent Whaley declares candidacy for Nanaimo Council

Trent Whaley

I have long been a quiet advocate for active transportation, integrity, reliance on due process and evidence-based decision making, while not sacrificing core democratic principles. Now I must get loud about it.
 
Council should be learning from the mistakes of other cities, not magnifying them. As a quiet shy person, I spent my school years in libraries reading non-fiction on a variety of topics, especially the sciences. Hopefully this study has made me a strong candidate for council. 

'Trust but verify' is one of the few statements I agree with from Ronald Reagan. Like most cities in B.C. Nanaimo operates under a single reporting employee model. There is trust, but not verification. No society, corporation, or other level of government operates without verification. Council should consult with the UBCM and province on the possibility of having an ombudsperson, reporting directly to council. 

Such a fundamental change to the governance model of the city will take time. In the meantime, our new council will have a lot of work to do.

Council will need to avoid repeating the systemic failures that led to the well-known issues of the last term, and determine why projects approved by council with public consultation experience unreasonable delays and why seemingly simple issues become so heated. 

It took more than 10 years from concept to completion to build the Harewood lacrosse box. There are projects currently approved by council that are experiencing similar delays or seem to be stalled. I will follow up regularly with staff and proponents to move already-approved community group projects like the VIEx improvements, Island Roots Market, Indigenous Peoples Place of Culture, and the Science and Sustainability Centre to completion.  I will also work with staff, council, and proponent groups to create a clear processes for follow up on future projects.

Furthermore we need to look at how council and staff can more efficiently proceed on non-controversial issues such as corrections to past surveying errors, while better communicating the intent and effects to the public.

By definition the free market cannot provide below-market rentals, but the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC and societies such as Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre and the Portland Hotel Society can, and can do so much faster if we provide whole-hearted support, development planning assistance, rental-only zoning, and land leases.

As a computer technician serving industrial and retail sites across Vancouver Island since 2009, I have been part of the congestion of our arterials. I have also seen what works and doesn't work in other communities, in our region and in Nanaimo. We need to work to ensure flow of emergency vehicles, goods, and service vehicles while reducing risks to drivers and vulnerable road users.” 

In 2002 I was struck by a motorist while cycling on Townsite Road. I was the only one present who knew first aid. This impressed on mne the need for both better cycling infrastructure and increased availability of first aid classes and emergency preparedness education. Nanaimo should be a city where every neighbour is a helper.

I believe that using best practices in urban planning, including walkability, cycling infrastructure, adequate transit, traffic calming on residential streets, and improving flow without adding capacity, benefits everyone whether they walk or drive. We spend only a small time each day driving, but all day listening to traffic noise and paying for road maintenance and injuries. 

By planning denser multi-use communities we can reduce the dependence on car trips and improve safety at the same time.  By taking simple steps to calm traffic in existing neighbourhoods - painting narrower lanes, building street tree planters to slow through traffic on residential streets, etc we can improve pedestrian safety and reduce noise without severely affecting travel times or requiring extensive re-engineering or planning. 

Eight regional district directors are drawn from Nanaimo council. Our regional transit should be adequate to load, frequent, accessible, and connected to both other modes and other regions. The regional district should work with Cowichan Valley Regional District to connect the services at or near the Nanaimo airport, and service Duke Point terminal as a connection to Translink. RDN Transit should connect to Comox Transit near Fanny Bay or bowser. There is RDN transit to Deep Bay and CVRD service to Fanny Bay; a drive of less than 10 minutes on each end could connect them.

I moved to Nanaimo with my parents in 1980 and attended Pleasant Valley elementary the same year. I moved to Fort St John in 1982 but returned in 1988. 

As a youth I spent summers  assisting my father's consumer advocacy work. While studying computing science and mathematics at VIU I worked at the Vancouver Island Regional Library head office and later at the convenience store at 5th and Bruce. I also worked briefly at a donut franchise on Bowen Road and in building maintenance before returning to further study. From 2006 to 2009 I worked at the Nanaimo branch of an electronics component and tool distributor where I served customers throughout the local technology, industrial, educational, and government sectors. On closing of the branch in 2009 I transitioned to the IT industry as a field technician serving companies across Vancouver Island and the gulf islands.  

I can be contacted at trent.whaley.candidate@gmail.com or 778-674-8936