For Nanaimo Council
There is an air of uncertainty around the world right now and Nanaimo is no exception. We need leaders that seek solutions and understand that we cannot passively wait for change. We need council members who are willing to act to meet the challenges of our time and the needs of our citizens.My performance as a City Councillor and as the Regional District of Nanaimo Chair demonstrate that I have the willingness and ability to lead. I work thoughtfully and collaboratively. I stand up for what is right and I achieve results.There is much work to do. The time to act is now.
I believe policy that supports people is the best way to change our communities for the better. I believe that local government can take leadership confronting the challenges that face us. Leadership on an issue does not always mean the ownership of it.I also believe city activities and budgets should be focused on outcomes. For this reason, I have not always voted in favor of the City or Regional District budget the last four years.In my platform I have attempted to put together policy positions – not just platitudes. I believe in pragmatic approaches to solving problems that utilize evidence and practices from elsewhere. I also believe at times you must take innovative approaches when other approaches have failed.In my platform you may find items you disagree with or feel I miss the mark. Please let me know. The challenges we face require continued dialogue, open minds and open hearts, and the courage to admit when we might be wrong. I promise to always listen to respectful dialogue, change my mind if presented with a better approach, and admit when I am wrong.With respect,
I was born and raised in Nanaimo and am now raising two young children with my partner Christina in the city I love. I have a background in urban planning, policy development, and intergovernmental relations. I was elected to Nanaimo council in 2018, and elected Chair of the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) in 2020 and 2021.I am proud to have brought ideas forward and led dialogue that resulted in the expansion of our regional parks systems, the creation of the City’s Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness, increased transit service, parcel assembly in Nanaimo’s downtown, and local commitment to funding a new patient tower and cardiac services for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.A passion of mine has been to push the province to modernize the local government act to allow for local governments to be more nimble, adaptable and inclusive. I have led this discussion among the Regional District Chairs throughout the province. Further, I believe that to be effective, local governments must adopt cohesive frameworks to orient their actions and build budgets based on outcomes for their citizenry. I have presented on this topic throughout Canada.I am honored to have served the citizens of Nanaimo for the last four years and have the energy to tackle the challenges before us. I have thoroughly enjoyed being RDN Chair and developing a positive and accountable organizational culture to provide value to citizens.When I am not busy with Council business, you can find me at Wheatcroft park with my family, playing sports, or enjoying life with my two beautiful children.
Questions? Want to help with the campaign? Have a concern about Nanaimo?I want to hear from you.
A More Affordable Nanaimo
There is no magical solution to making life more affordable in Nanaimo. There are many macroeconomic factors at play that have impacted our citizens and their ability to live here. With that said, there are factors within the control of Nanaimo Council and policy tools available to make life more affordable for citizens, especially housing, and mitigate the impacts of increased cost-of-living.Housing1. Expand the secondary suite policy to permit more secondary suites, update the Policy on coach houses to permit more locations with small lot size requirements, and allow infill and intensification in single detached neighborhoods for the appropriate land use designations in the City Plan.2. Complete an analysis of proposed Urban Centre and Corridor land use designations in the City Plan, with the objective of pre-zoning appropriate parcels for affordable housing, and aligning densities in the Zoning Bylaw with the City Plan density targets.3. Decrease building permit processing times by moving further towards a professional reliance model.4. Amend Schedule D of the Zoning Bylaw 4500 to incentivize affordable family-friendly housing with three or more bedrooms, and accessible and adaptable housing units (Schedule D of the Zoning Bylaw contains a list of amenities that a developer can provide to achieve more residential units within a development than the base zoning designation allows).5. Establish a city-owned development corporation with the mandate to work with BC Housing, developers, and housing providers to primarily build housing, with particular attention on building affordable net-zero-ready housing through a variety of ownership models.6. Purchase two properties per year for supportive housing units to ensure a city-wide distribution model (utilize the housing reserve funds which receive reserve contributions through development, not taxation).Transportation1. Continue with the approved Regional District of Nanaimo transit expansion plan, which will see the largest transit service increase in Nanaimo’s history.2. Expand the custom transit (HandyDART) program. HandyDART is an accessible, door-to-door shared transit service for people with permanent or temporary disabilities that prevent them from using fixed-route transit without assistance from another person.3. Implement an e-bike rebate program.4. Make permanent the increased funding for building sidewalks in areas where safe pedestrian travel options do not exist.5. Develop a transportation hub that interconnects to inter-regional transit service and the future fast ferry to Vancouver.
A Healthier Nanaimo
It’s no secret that Nanaimo scores poorly with regard to social determinants of health. I have written here on the issue of there being two tiers of health-care on Vancouver Island, with significantly worse healthcare north of the Malahat due to lack of modern medical facilities. And we can see and feel the impacts of failed social policy in the number of unsheltered and unhoused individuals on our streets. None of this is acceptable. I will continue to advocate firmly while bringing people together to find solutions. I will also bring well-thought-out policy approaches that focus both on acute impacts and upstream causes.Hospital Improvements and Health Care Advocacy1. Continue Advocacy with the Province for the development of cardiac services, a cancer clinic, and a new patient tower at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Note: Funding for the local portion has already been budgeted for and professional advocacy has been started.2. Increase advocacy and provide additional funding through the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District for care homes. Note: 8 of 9 Councillors sit on the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District Board.Unsheltered Citizens1. Expand the Community Safety Officer program by augmenting the team with outreach worker positions (trauma-informed).2. Commit to 40% of the capital costs for true Complex Care Housing in the region through the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District Board. Note: 8 of 9 Councillors sit on the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District Board.3. Advocate to the province and federal government for more harm reduction services and programs as part of a comprehensive public health and addictions program that includes both prevention and treatment.4. Fund shelter spaces and provide harm reduction grants to social agencies through the housing legacy reserve (millions of dollars currently unallocated).Food and Nutrition Security1. Review water source provisions for agricultural uses within the City of Nanaimo to reduce irrigation costs.2. Review the City of Nanaimo zoning bylaw to make it easier for innovative agricultural approaches to become established.3. Work with the community to identify a location for a permanent and year-round farmers' market.4. Expand community garden programs into underserved areas of the City and establish community orchards on underutilized City land.5. Work with food and nutrition security-focused agencies in Nanaimo to expand access to locally sourced food products.
A more fulfilling and Inclusive Nanaimo
A good city is one you can play in. We have great facilities but the demand for more increases year after year. We have been successful in securing grants to improve and expand many of our facilities. I’d like to see this work continue. Here is what I believe can be achieved in the next four years.Culture and Recreation1. Continue expansion and modernization of sports and recreation facilities in Nanaimo. This will include the development of a South End Recreation Centre, increased access to sports courts (pickle ball, badminton, etc.), rowing facilities, cycling facilities, stadium improvements, and field upgrades.2. Increased access to low financial barrier public sports and recreation programs.3. Identify and secure locations for the Nanaimo Art Gallery expansion and a community arts centre.4. Create better outdoor theatre and performance space.5. Establish a Sports Council.6. Re-Establish an Arts and Culture Committee to provide recommendations to Council.Parks and Trails1. Continue to expand the regional parks and trail system (the recent addition to Mount Benson Regional Park is an example).2. Develop nature play space policies and playgrounds within Nanaimo.3. Hold a referendum for the required borrowing for the creation of a waterfront walkway with complete project and fiscal information provided to the public.4. Modernize public facilities at Westwood, Maffeo Sutton, and Departure Bay parks.Accessibility1. Develop a universally accessible facilities plan for the City with timelines for implementation.2. Provide universal and accessible facilities in all new buildings.3. Create a map application that makes it easy to locate and identify accessible parks and recreation facilities.Urban Design and Public Space Programming1. Establish an urban design-centric planning department.2. Replace the city’s zoning bylaw with a performance and form-based zoning code.3. Re-establish the Public Safety Committee.Truth and Reconciliation1. Continue to work with First Nations on the traditional territory that the City of Nanaimo and Regional District of Nanaimo occupies.2. Continue to push the province to develop more inclusive governance options.
A more Sustainble Nanaimo
Sustainability needs to be part of everything we do. It is the lens I look through for all decisions. To tackle the global challenge of climate change and biodiversity loss we must do our part locally.1. Implement City Plan items related to sustainability, with a focus on low carbon energy systems and a building retrofit program.2. Implement the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Solid Waste management plan to see 90% of waste diverted from the regional landfill (currently waiting on provincial approval).3. Continued support for low carbon transportation infrastructure.
I'll be in touch.