Paul Chapman for Nanaimo City Council

Paul Chapman for city council


In the mid-nineties, while living on Savary Island, and taking part in the regular complaining about the governance of the island, I was challenged by a friend to take an active role in finding solutions to the problems before us.

That began my efforts with a group of permanent and seasonal residents to form a committee to hear Island concerns, convey them to the regional district and seek solutions that worked for Savary Island. That challenge, to be part of the solution, also lead me to become the Chief Shop steward of a 700 member CUPE health care local in Nova Scotia and an active participant with the Annapolis Valley Labour Council.

On my return to the west coast, I was lucky enough to land a position with the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) just as the successful campaign to secure the land now known as the Mount Benson Regional Park came to conclusion. I have had the good fortune to learn from the leadership group at NALT, participate with and guide projects, connect with City councilors and the RDN Board and work with City and RDN staff. My work has also offered the opportunity to sit on committees, roundtables, caucuses and currently on the Board of the Land Trust Alliance of BC.

My experience has taught me the value of listening to others, forging collaborative plans, and working with community partners to accomplish goals.


I will make decisions looking through an environmental lens. Compassion and collaboration are also important influences on my decision-making process.

We face three crises: climate change, affordability and homelessness and the related health care and safety issues.

I believe we are in a climate emergency and support putting urgency into our actions. The longer we delay, the more drastic and costly the interventions. The time to act is now. We can bolster our natural systems in support of sustainable services while increasing biodiversity and providing green spaces for us to be calm, cool and connected.

We are in an affordability crisis. Working folks and those on fixed incomes are facing declining choices and opportunities in where and how to live in Nanaimo. A vibrant and resilient community has space for working folks, young families and the folks that helped build community we love. We must use all the levers at hand to provide  affordable housing through subsidies and new builds, and be prepared to explore innovative paths to home ownership. 

Homelessness affects every neighbourhood in our community. Our efforts to end homelessness, address related health care challenges and return a sense of community safety will need to involve every neighbourhood in the decisions that need to be made. Much of the policy and funding comes from federal and provincial governments. Through promotion and lobby, we need to inform the decisions made by senior government and be ready to utilize funding as it becomes available. I believe in safe supply, safe use sites, safe housing and health care services. We need to remove the criminal profit taking of the drug trade, eliminate the need for vulnerable people to beg, borrow and steal to maintain their addictions, and tackle the related health and mental health care needs. As a community, we are all going to be part of the solution.

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