Climate crisis needs to be taken seriously

The climate crisis is the biggest issue facing us right now and needs to be taken seriously. We all need to work on it at every level of government. Yes there are other things going on but we can't ignore to fix other things. Work on multiple items but continue to prioritize climate at the same time. The last council started the ball rolling but more needs to be done. - Chris Baitz

Trying to figure out the bike lanes furor

Dennis McMahon, Elizabeth Wright, Nigel O’Neil 

I can appreciate the concerns that have been expressed.  

As someone running for city council this election, I would like to understand more about these views - and hopefully it will give others an opportunity to respond as well.   

Do you view the expenditure decisions by council as a mistake, or is it more that you view the spending decisions to be insensitive to higher priorities of the time? There is a difference.   

At the end of the day, whether it was fully supported or not supported, we have bike lanes which now exist and which will be used by residents in the future. By itself - if what we have left is dedicated bike lanes - that is not a wholly bad end outcome, is it? Its legacy is positive in one sense.

Can you view these decisions as positive in the long run? Or are these decisions all negative in your view? That is what I would like to know. 

I do not personally ride bicycles, and - I would not have thought to prioritize this direction of spending myself if I were councillor - it is just not a significant part of my life. But for some residents, it is. Now that it has been given some priority by other interests, is it that bad in the long run? I would like to understand your views better.  

Jay Krishan

Chamber to hold meet the candidates night Sept. 22

Kim Smythe

The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce will hold a public election education and awareness ‘Meet the Candidates Night’ on Thursday, Sept. 22 at Beban Park beginning at 6:30 pm.

“We are accustomed to providing voting information and candidate introductions in the lead-up to elections over the years. With the large number of candidates running, we felt this was the best way of providing exposure for them and a learning experience for voters,” says Kim Smythe, Nanaimo Chamber CEO. “The event will be free for voters to attend and candidates will help pool funds for the Chamber to recover its costs for producing and promoting the event.” Parking at Beban Park is also free of charge.

“With 29 Council candidates, four Mayoral contestants, and 13 School Trustees we are expecting a very full house and look forward to all candidates showing up, although registration for candidate’s tables is still open.” The Chamber will not be producing a Candidate’s Debate this year. Meet the Candidates Night was timed well in advance of the first Advance Voting Poll on October 5.

Ian Thorpe                                                                     Zeni Maartman

What are your main issues in this election?

What has city council done in the past four years that ruffles your feathers? To give our readers an opportunity to participate in the election we invite you to tell us what you see as the main issues and we’ll make sure the candidates see them and have a chance to respond. Send your comments to editor@nanaimonet.com and we’ll make sure they get them. The rules are simple, stick to the issues, keep it clean and no personal insults.

We can't afford those pet project expenditures

Some councillors are driving up taxes with issues like an imaginary climate crisis. Admitted, we need to react to our environment, but that’s not within the city’s responsibility. Higher levels of government are responsible for looking after our climate. Bike trails all over the city are but one example. Those councillors are not paying for it, we are. Voters need to make sure they are not returned to power. Find out who they are and then toss them out.  – Elizabeth Wright.

Downtown safety and blatant waste of money

My primary concern is the lack of safety in the downtown area. My wife and I no longer feel safe visiting the downtown core.

Recently there has been a deadly knife attack. Just last week there was a person who set fire to a tree in the park near the lagoon. And there are countless other unsettling incidents that make us concerned for our safety.

The other thing that concerns us is the absolute waste of tax money spent to upgrade Metral Drive. This road is nowhere near as safe as it was before the "Improvements". It may be prettier now, but is challenging for fire trucks, ambulances, delivery vehicles and regular motorists to navigate safely.

I would suggest prior to any more Improvements a thorough safety audit is made of proposed changes by traffic experts.  – Nigel O’Neil

Fiscal responsibility is missing from council

We need a Council that will adhere to fiscal responsibility. We have overspent for years. Now is the time to quit spending, starting with a new Art Centre. – Frank Stevens

'We know best' attitude doesn't do the job

It is obvious to that this Council has decided to act in an autocratic fashion rather than in one of participatory democracy. They developed the strategic plan without any citizen input - worse, they developed it before amending or updating the 20/30 year OCP upon which all other plans  (including the strategic plan) should be based.  (cart before the horse). The only citizen participation was to comment upon their already developed plan.

Metral drive is another "we know best"  project which has a major effect on the budget and taxes without any citizen input into how and/or when and where the complete streets concept should be applied. 

The following question is designed to determine the basic philosophy of the candidates – do they commit to enabling effective citizen participation in the decision making process in areas that have an impact on their lives - or do they believe that they "know best" and that their primary responsibility to citizens is to  "inform"  and then  "consult"  after the decision has been made. 

Question to Mayoral and Council candidates   "What is your position on establishing a Council Policy Document which commits Council to engage citizens in a meaningful way during the development of city plans that affect their lives?" – Dennis McMahon