“The lack of affordable housing is not just an issue that has hit larger urban centres, such as Vancouver. The affordable housing crisis has hit cities of all sizes, including Nanaimo. This crisis has had an impact on citizens of every age. Affordable housing is not just a “provincial issue.” There are actions that can be taken at a municipal level to help alleviate the affordable housing crisis and it is time that we take that action.”
Mayor and Council have recognized the need for affordable housing and were presented with the City of Nanaimo’s Affordable Housing Report, which was adopted on September 17th, 2018.
This report is comprehensive, well researched and included public consultations.
As your councillor, I will:
Work with and support the City of Nanaimo’s Affordable Housing Report.
Work with the provincial and federal government to secure funding for affordable housing projects.
Work alongside non-profits, such as Habitat for Humanity to develop more affordable housing units.
Advocate for the provincial government and School District 68 to reserve surplus school land for affordable housing projects. There are precedents for this in Edmonton and other Canadian cities.
When there is a mega housing project being proposed on land that would need to be rezoned, I am committed to negotiating with developers to reserve a certain percentage of the project to go towards affordable housing.
“Having sufficient public transportation is not just good for the commuter or strictly for people that take transit, it is good for everyone. Reliable and adequate public transit is the essence of a strong community and city. People rely on public transportation to get to and from work, school, volunteering, shopping, and for many other reasons that contribute to the local economy and community. Having more reliable public transit in Nanaimo would increase ridership and help lower our city’s carbon footprint.”
As your councillor, I will:
Support and work with the City of Nanaimo’s Transportation Master Plan, which has a goal of “Increasing the quality, convenience and accessibility of transit for trips within the City and region.”
Work with the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Transit Future Plan along with recognizing the current transit needs of the city and the region.
Advocate to increase the number of bus shelters wherever suitable and needed to increase ridership and to give the rider respect and safety. Where there are no bus shelters, there is less lighting which makes citizens feel unsafe and unseen when buses and traffic go by. My solution to this would be to negotiate more advertising contracts with local and provincial businesses to implement more bus shelters that are self-funding and self-maintained.
Work with other levels of government and BC Transit to secure more funding for more sufficient transit services and to modernize our transit system. For example, accepting more payment options instead of just change and bus passes.
Nanaimo is far from alone when it comes to having the issue of homelessness and a “tent city”. The province has recognized the issue and has started a modular housing program. In August 2018, Premier Horgan made it clear that his government is willing to give Nanaimo a modular housing project that would come with assistance for residents such as resume building and drug rehabilitation programs.
As your city councillor, I will work with council and the mayor to do the following:
- Find city owned land or crown land that can be allocated towards social housing projects.
- Conduct consultations with residents in the area.
- Advocate for the provincial and federal government to implement social housing projects.
In 2016, the city’s Advisory Committee of Environmental Sustainability was eliminated in a restructuring process. Since then, conversations regarding environmental sustainability in Nanaimo have been scarce. Climate change is real and every municipality needs to do their part in protecting our planet.
That is why once I am elected as your city councillor, I will advocate for an advisory committee on environmental issues.
POVERTY AND STRENGTHENING OUR CULTURE AND HERITAGE
On average, one out of four children live in poverty in Nanaimo. This number is much too high and deserves more attention.
Currently, our city has culture and heritage and poverty all on one committee, the Vitality Committee. This simply makes no sense. That is why I am committed to advocating for culture and heritage to go back to having its own committee, which should also have a strong focus on tourism. Social planning and poverty reduction deserves to be its own committee. This will allow for there to be a stronger focus on both culture and poverty in Nanaimo.
Additionally, I am committed to working with the 2014 document, “A Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo,” which can be found here: https://www.nanaimo.ca/docs/social-culture-environment/plan-culturalplanforacreativenanaimo.pdf
I will also be committed to working with the city of Nanaimo’s poverty reduction plan which is currently still being finalized and updated.
COMPLETION OF THE EXPANSION OF THE WATERFRONT WALKWAY
I believe that the expansion of the waterfront walkway would bring in new local businesses and support existing ones in the area. It would also increase tourism and strengthen our city’s economy. The expansion could also bring in more housing and overall, create a more livable and enjoyable city. That is why, once elected, I am committed to working towards the goal of implementing and completing this project; a project which has been on the city’s master plan since 2008. Over the past two years, there has been much work done, including things such as public engagement sessions, the hiring of a company, mapping out the project and also securing some federal funding. The foundation is set, but it will be up to the new council to progressively complete this project.
STRENGHTENING AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
Having healthy and productive relationships with other levels of government is critical for a city’s success. That is why I am committed to rebuilding and strengthening our relationships with the provincial government, federal government, Snuneymuxw First Nations and School District 68.
I am also committed to strengthening our relationships with the Port Authority, Island Health, Vancouver Island University and the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, along with other entities that contribute greatly to our community and our economy.
MAKING DECISIONS WITH INTEGRITY
As your councillor, I will always make my decisions by asking if what I am voting for is in the best interests of Nanaimo and its citizens as a whole.
I will do my research and am committed to hearing all sides of an issue before I make a conclusion.
I am fiscally responsible and will make sure that my decisions on council do not negatively impact the citizens of Nanaimo.