Welcome to the South End Votes weblog!

We’re hoping this can be a place Nanaimo residents can come to get informed on the upcoming civic election taking place November 15th 2008. We’d like to offer a place for residents to ask questions, make comments and offer suggestions to the various running candidates. You’ll be able to do this in the comment section after postings made here and alternatively you can send an email to southendcommunityassociation@gmail.com. We’ll be forwarding all feedback to as many candidates as possible and posting their replies to this weblog after October 20th. Some candidates may want to take on some of the questions earlier so feel free to check out their own websites/blogs linked on the right.

As South End Nanaimoites ourselves, we’re interested in candidate’s opinions on South End issues and what their goals are for our area. We want to know that our interests are being considered and properly represented.

If you’re running for city council this year and don’t see your name or website/blog mentioned please get in touch with us and let us know! We’d like to know more about you and what you plan to offer the City of Nanaimo if you’re elected to city council!

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25 Comments

Filed under Ask Questions to Candidates Here, Civic Election, Purpose of this Weblog

25 responses to “Welcome to the South End Votes weblog!

  1. Joanne Pick

    I would like to know where each candidate stands on the prostitution and drug trade on Haliburton Street and Victoria.

  2. Joanne Pick

    I think that the owners of the Balmoral Hotel should let the community open up a Community Policing station where the restaurant used to be. It is a proven fact that if you have a community station that is run by the neighborhood watch program that it not only reduces crime in the area but also the hookers and drug trade will not come into the area….just a thought.

  3. Larry Gambone

    I would like to know whether the candidate supports or favors:

    1. Maintaining the present demographic nature of our neighborhood (a community of working people) by encouraging the development of affordable housing.
    2. Shutting down or curtailing invasive, community-undermining industries in our neighborhood.
    3. Encouraging the restoration of commercial activity of a non-invasive nature on Haliburton Street.
    4. Replacing the at-large system of civic elections, with a proper ward system, thereby giving neighborhoods such as ours some form of direct representation.
    5. I would also like to know whether the candidate lives in this neighborhood, or in a similar neighborhood, and if not, why do you think you can represent us adequately?

  4. Larry Gambone

    One other question: Are you willing to cease the type of shopping mall/suburban sprawl type developments which are one of the major causes of the decline of Down Town Nanaimo, and indirectly, neighborhoods such as ours?

  5. Joanne and Larry. I will attempt to briefly answer your questions though the issues do require more lengthy debate.

    Joanne:
    Prostitution and the drug trade rise and fall dependant on the push by City Staff and the RCMP in response to resident complaints. If implemented Nanaimo’s Homeless & Housing Action Plan will help to some degree in geting active users off the streets. I advocating for housingI will also be doing the same for treatment facilities. We need at a minimum 1000 more treatment beds in the province some dedicated to the long term treatment needed of Meth and Crack Cocaine addictions. The province should also offer core funding to programs like Willow-Wai which offers street working women help and options to attain a more productive lifestyle. Stronger penalties for criminal activity would also be nice.

    The Community Policing Station is looking at options to move closer to te South End and the Balmoral would have been a perfect location.

    Larry:

    1. Yes. The placement of Affordable Housing at the Balmoral sets a precedent for other areas of the city with SECA actively supporting it. It is the demographic of our diverse populatopn that makes the South End such a great place to live.

    2. The revised Official Community plan is in line with eliminating much of the light industry zoning in the south end. When we work on our Neighbourhood Plan we can also reinforce this.

    3. Mixed use – commercial below housing above – would work well on parts of Haliburton St.. Ideas like the condos proposed for across from the Balmoral as well as those proposed for at Robins Park will work to revitalize the neighbourhood. I saying this there are also a number of heritage single family homes that we should encourage preserving. This mix will only add to the livibility and affordability of the area.

    4. Personally I like the idea of a ward system in Nanaimo. As you say it allows for direct representation from given areas which currently does not happen as all of our current council lives North of Wakesiah Rd. This said those elected would also need to be aware of the issues in other areas of the community as well

    5. Corner of Nicol and Needham Streets. Now that you know where I live please don’t egg my house if you don’t support me in my run for city council.

    6. Yes. I have always opposed the expansion of the urban containment boundary. Malls are by far not the best means for shopping. Building complete communities with shopping etc. within walking distance can only help reduce our carbon footprint which improves and benefits the whole of Nanaimo and the environment in general.

  6. Sydney Robertson

    My (first) question to all the candidates would be:
    Do you think social services are over-concentrated in the South End, and if so, what would you do to change the situation?

  7. My first question to all the candidates would be:
    Are you willing to help make the southend of Nanaimo a vibrant, liveable, desirable community which the geographic location begs for ? Are you willing to work on reducing the concentration of homelessness in our area to encourage people to live and open new businesses in our area?

  8. Russ Thomson

    We are experiencing the pressure of a high density of social agencies being clustered in the area. Can we count on you to make an effort to spread these agencies to other areas of Nanaimo in order that all residents may bear this pressure?

  9. Please rate these concepts in their order of significance to you:
    Infrastructure and Development
    Community Unity
    Social Service Delivery
    Municipal Budgetary Responsibility

    What are your thoughts on road and alternate transportation development and helping the city live up to it’s recent (dubious) designation as Canada’s “Most Walkable City?

    What’s your vision for future real estate development in our municipality?

    What are your thoughts on consecutive muti term counselorship?

    What do you see as the city’s economic drivers for the future? Resource extraction, tourism, university… ?

    What direction do you see the downtown revitalisation going in? Box stores, strip malls, megaplexes or locally owned unique small businesses?

  10. To Joanne Pick,
    I am aware that prostitutuon and drug dealing are huge problems on, among other places, Haliburton and Victoria and it is important that solutions be found!

    While Vancouver has relied on the Four Pillar approach ( prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement) I believe that only the latter two have had any serious attention in that City.

    I believe that your suggestion of a Community Policing station is a good one ( enforcement ) provided that it goes hand in hand with a serious attempt to work on the other three “pillars”.

    Prostitution and drug dealing are connected with homelessness, substance abuse as well as mental illness and it is for that reason that I fully support the City of Nanaimo’s action plan on ” Housing First and Harm Reduction”. It is a five year plan which attempts to get people of the street first and then deal with the variety of problems/illnesses with which they are afflicted.

    Possibly not soon enough for you but we have to start somewhere.

    When I attended the Public Meeting on the Balmoral a few month ago, someone had written on a blackboard all the social services which are dispensed from the South End ……I think there were some thirteen of them and clearly that load has to be shared much more equally by all of Nanaimo!

  11. To Larry Gambone:
    1) The most livable communities are those with a true mix of demographics and a good mix of people from all walks of life ( and incomes ) I believe that the South End is well situated to achieve that once developers and politicians get realistic about the urgent need for affordable housing ( I have a segment on that on my website http://www.fredpattje.com ) Someone once told me ” the downtown will go as the South End goes ” and I believe that revitalizing one without the other is not a possibility.

    2 Community-undermining industries have no place in a healthy and vibrant neighbourhood!

    3Commercial activity which would be supported by the neighbourhood has got to be an integral part of rebuilding/reconfiguring the South End.

    4Unless the next Council, and subsequent ones, start paying heed to the preamble of our Official Communiuty Plan which states that ” neighbourhoods with valid neighbourhood plans are the building blocks of our municipal society” we should be looking at alternative ways to get proper representation for all our citizens.
    Wards may be one way to go!

    5 I live in the Departure Bay area where I was a founding member of the DBNA ( Departure Bay Neighbourhood Association), two terms as Treasurer and one as Vice President.
    We have a Neighbourhood Plan ( albeit a limited one ) which already is being undermined in various and sundry ways and, when elected, I intend to be working towards valid neighbourhood plans for ALL parts of Nanaimo.
    I realize that our areas are very different but by working together we can make it better for all of us.The Neighbourhood Network is one tool for achieving this goal.
    I think I can represent you because I am fair, I understand your challenges and I have friends like Gord Fuller who has given and who will continue to give me sound advice as far as the South End is concerned!

    http://www.fredpattje.com or 250 758-7575

  12. Larry Gambone, ( 2 )

    I spent five and a half weeks on the seawall ( till I got kicked off) and Maffeo-Sutton Park this summer collecting anti- Cable Bay petitions because I truly believe this type of sprawl causing development has to be stopped and , no matter what Jeet Manhas says, Cable Bay DOES take away from the revitalization process of the downtown and, by connection, from your South End neighbourhood as well!

    As you know we collected 7809 valid Elector Response Forms and managed to stop the annexation of 87 acres of RDN land; we won that battle but, sadly, the war is still going on………..

  13. Sydney Robertson,

    I know that far too many social services are dispensed from the South End; when elected I will do my very best to get the rest of Nanaimo to ” share the load”. I also know that this will be a “hard sell” and difficult to achieve but I am a consensus builder and I will twist arms when necessary!

  14. Russ Thomson,

    Same reply as I gave to Sydney Robertson.

    http://www.fredpattje.com

  15. Allium :
    1) Community unity
    2) Infrastructure and development
    3)Social Services Distribution
    4)Municipal Budgetary Responsibility*

    * I am a social-democrat and a fiscal conservative ( yes, you can combine them 🙂 ) and my gut instinct would be to have budgetary responsibility higher on the list……….the South End, however, is a place with special and urgent needs, hence the list as you see it above.

    I was born and spent the first nineteen years of my life in the Netherlands where bicyles are an extremely important mode of transportation. Why can’t we have Light Rapid Rail on the E&N rail? We are not a walkable city and never will be if Councils insist on urban sprawl causing developments like Cable Bay and Sandstone!

    Only if we practice proper urban planning with infill and densification close to the downtown core will we stand any hope of ever achieving a sustainable public transit system………

    Infill and densification; affordable housing, if necessary with “donations” from the development industry. Ucluelet ” extracts” a certain percentage of affordable housing, we can do the same.

    I’ve sat on both Secondary Suites Task Forces and want more “granny suites”, ” coach houses” etc.
    Co-op housing ought to be much more encouraged. Most of all I want a healty mix of low, middle and higher end housing , since those mixes make for the best and healthiest communities! And oh, NO highrises on the waterfront!

    My platform calls for a maximum of two consecutive terms.

    There are economic drivers and economic supporters; new “drivers”, in my books, would be value -added wood manufacturing, boat building and ship repair at Duke Point, “green” industries such as solar panel factories, manufactures of electric cars, firms that deal in geo-thermal and marine heat-exchange components, IT industries

    We have lost a great deal of our industrial base and it needs to be replaced one way or the other; real estate, call centres, shopping malls are only at the periphery of a sound industrial base

    Recently I spent time with Nanaimo’s Economic Development Officer and though they are doing fine work I now know that they rely on incoming enquiries but don’t go out and solicit for new industries to come to Nanaimo………..I think that could be changed!

    Downtown revitalization will only happen if we get a healthy mix of some 8000 more people living in, or close to, the downtown core. Hopefully those people will be looking for small local butchers, bakers, greengrocers etc. to whose businesses they can walk………

    More questions, feel free to call me at 250 758-7575 or have a look at http://www.fredpattje.com

  16. Fergus Gibson

    I would like to have the answer to this question from the candidates:

    “In your opinion, why have efforts to address addiction and homelessness failed, and what is your vision of how Nanaimo can improve the lives of these residents, who are among the most vulnerable?”

    I would also like to know who among the candidates is prepared to make a real commitment to improving green transportation in Nanaimo. There is a real need for improvements to public transit and to modify existing infrastructure to better accommodate cyclists.

    Thanks for gathering our questions. I appreciate it.

  17. James Younger

    answer to Joanne Pick
    I can see Victoria and Haliburton from my front door. That is one reason I am running for council. Also the cooking area [to make heat and eat]of the Balmoral I think could be an exceptional help to the people with mental health issues and would not want to see that lost.

  18. James Younger

    To Larry Gambone
    When I bought my house in “the hood” the appraiser and building inspector informed me that my quality of enjoyment of my house would be affected by were it was and how close it was to the street. I knew what they meant when “cracker jack “drove his dads car into my house. [ we won`t get into how slow insurance companies move] Please bring a south ender to vote with you.

  19. James Younger

    To Larry
    I will not support buildings over five stories. If that means I support shopping like sprawl that is better than a city full of high-rises. Once your city vista is full of high-rises you never get that small town look back. My research indicates five stories is the best for density avoiding high-rises.
    I am opposed to city sprawl but only elected council members have a say in that. If the current economic trends continue new housing starts will drop dramatically reducing sprawl.
    More building downtown would be attractive if the city payed for geo-tecks. It cost over $1000
    for multiple geo-teck inspections to replace a eight by eight [8×8] front deck. If the costs for inspections required by city are this high for a deck what does it cost on a lot in the area. That is not incentive to build it is extra costs. We all know that there is coal slack in the area.

  20. James Younger

    To Sydney Robertson
    I would enact a bylaw requiring new social services
    not locate in the south end/ Nob hill area. Instead of a bylaw saying that social services can locate were-ever.{like this council did.]
    The city needs to stop the over concentration of social services in the south end.

  21. James Younger

    To Pamela Jones
    I would work to do this and one way would be opening up my office twice a month to listen to associations/citizens. To listen to concerns or suggestions on how we can all work together to make Nanaimo a more vibrant community.
    I have volunteered four [4] years running at the Nanaimo 1/2 marathon or more recently spending the day building play ground equipment in Nob hill Park. We all need to do something for this city.

  22. James Younger

    To Pamela James
    I have serious concerns about how people want to treat the homelessness project.
    I DO NOT SUPPORT WET HOUSES, there are to many sober people that need help. The housing first approach is flawed. That is why I have been trying to add input for over one year, and not the input at the open house. The Safer Nanaimo Working Group not taking input from citizens is flawed.
    Some people want to follow this Toronto plan on homelessness, I say look at the reality. In Ontario you can collect welfare indefinitely, in B.C. you can collect welfare two[2] years out of five[5]. If someones shelter allowance is to pay for this shelter, who will pay once the shelter allowance runs out. That is only if this client just started welfare.
    I am all for federal and provincial funding to help the homeless. The city going into debt for this program is not a good idea. I have requested city council put all tax revenue over $3,000,000 from the casino toward social issues and housing.

  23. James Younger

    Russ I covered that earlier.

  24. James Younger

    To Allium
    fiscal restraint
    infrastructure and development
    community unity
    social service delivery

    #1 I would like to see the EN trail finished. To get people out of cars we need lite-rail it would open up the whole island. I find the roads unsafe for bikes.
    #2 The real estate market is down and no one is borrowing money to build at this moment. This is predicted to last a few years. The new houses that are being sold are selling for less. I predict many builders moving into other work.
    #3 Three terms is enough for a councilor.
    #4 Eco-tourism is the future but I feel strongly about a large industrial zone to help build Nanaimo as well.
    #5 How people build on their land once it is approved is up to them.

  25. James Younger

    To Fergus Gibson
    I find the roadways unsafe for bikes. The EN trail should be finished. I have asked the provincial representative about funding for lite rail and he said ” the liberals are in power don`t expect much and they will claw it back after the election.”
    The efforts to address homelessness have failed because provincial and federal funding has not been adequate. Addiction has to be fought on a personal level. It is the individuals responsibility not societies.

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