Tag Archives: Brennan

2011 Election Campaign: Answers to Question #2

A little framing first:   We in the South End are absolutely ecstatic about our shiny new neighbourhood plan.  Yes, it’s ambitious…over 100 action items.  Capable Chris Sholberg and his team led us through the planning process, which they made very clear and easy.  And we want to work with the city to help execute it.   But the process toward that isn’t so clear. So the question we asked was:

2.  The South End recently completed its Official Neighbourhood Plan.  How do you see Council’s role in supporting its implementation?



Candidates for Mayor

Dan Didio

did not reply to the survey

Roger McKinnon

did not reply to the survey

Jim Routledge

Wow – Good document – I was aware of it and of some of the general reasons for neighbourhood plans.  I reviewed this.  I don’t know how to exactly address your question.  I picked out a few things that jumped out at me.  I hope that tells you more about me and what my intentions might be with respect to the Plan.

Neighbourhood History

The Snuneymuxw, a Coast Salish people, have lived on the Nanaimo Harbour for thousands of years.

The South End’s industrial heritage is the city’s most significant. At the time of its closure in 1938, the No. 1 Mine, located at the foot of Milton Street, was the oldest operating coal mine in British Columbia. Over 18 million tons of coal had been removed from beneath Nanaimo’s Harbour. During its 55 years of operation, the mine was the city’s biggest employer.

5.4 Social Enrichment and Culture

Communication and Partnerships

12         Increased communication between the City, the neighbourhood, School District #68 and the Snuneymuxw First Nation for purposes of communication and partnership on servicing, security, community building, planning and arts / culture initiatives is encouraged.

5.5 Environmental Protection and Enhancement

Sustainable Building Technologies

8         Development of the Assembly Wharf / CP Lands as a model sustainable, green neighbourhood in a manner similar to Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek or Victoria’s Dockside Green is encouraged.

The 9 pages (approaching 100 items) of  Section 7.3 Implementation Strategy are specific & measurable.  They are designed to be tracked and reviewed.

I need guidance on this whole thing – it’s been a particularly good question.  I am from the other end of town, so forgive me if I take some time to get up to speed on all areas.   If elected Mayor, I will devote time to this and probably go along with what is clearly a well thought out and seasoned approach.  I see no reason now to do anything other that is for sure.  I support the OCP sincerely, this is part of that so I support it too.

The question that I feel obliged to ask is “How do you want me to see councils role with it?  Get more involved, stay away. How has it been going?

John Ruttan

I congratulate the South End for the successful completion of their “Official Community Plan”. I want to see the City of Nanaimo work collaboratively with the residents of the South End to assist them in meeting their goals. The City has great respect for those resident associations who see the need for change and are prepared to work with us on developing a strategy for success.

Candidates for Council

George Anderson

I believe that it is councils responsibility to work with south end to make sure the plan comes to realization. There needs to be open communication and transparency about the plan, and making sure that there is a timeline in order for it to be achieved.

Bill Bestwick

It is imperative Council continue to build relationship and support the SECA in advancing its priorities and initiatives.  Through policy implementation and cooperation with the stakeholders businesses and residents continue to reach agreement and consensus on residential development and imrovements.

Arlene Blundell

City Council should use this plan as an important tool in creating mid-term goals for the city as a whole.  It should be supported in every way, UNLESS any particular part is not in the best interests of the community as a whole.

Diane Brennan

By following the January 2011 implementation plan for short, medium, and long term actions.

By keeping a careful eye on the city’s budget to ensure funds available for implementation; and

By maintaining a reasonable relationship with the planning department and with the mayor and council.

Brunie Brunie

I have read your comprehensive community plan. As a councilor I would most certainly vote on all facets of green transportation.  My hot rod bike is the way I personally get around.  I love it and plan to never again own a car.  Another reason I can live within my means.  Safe cycling is the way of the future and I don’t mean share the road with the car.

I would encourage many more small business’s bringing more vibrancy and self sufficiency to your area. Growing organic local food big big time as the most important economic development is my no. one platform so grow grow grow!!!

Gord Fuller

Council must take active participation in working to implement all neighbourhood plans. It can do this through ongoing communication with neighbourhood groups and encouraging staff participation with these groups as well. Items in the plan are comprised of those the Neighbourhood can accomplish, those Neighbourhood and City work on together and those that are largely the responsibility of the City. Ongoing communication will be key to their implementation.

Ted Greves

The first way of supporting the Plan is to become informed about it and its Ten Guiding Principles. I know there is an extensive Implementation Strategy and as stated “The Strategy identifies actions, timing and responsibilities of the City….” So, if the City supports the Neighbourhood Plan it will encourage its implementation with its actions at the Committee and Council level.

Diana Johnstone

City Council must maintain open communication with SECA throughout the entire range of implementation from immediate to ongoing. Council, along with city planners should be supportive to help ensure that the projects in progress are moving forward as anticipated. They should always be mindful that the implementation is in line with the Official Community Plan and other community projects ensuring connectivity, and that consultation is ongoing.

Council members should take an active role in attending SECA meetings (when possible) and perhaps carry out an annual review with the neighbourhood to maintain interest, keep up to speed with accomplishments and be supportive of actions that still need to be identified.

Jim Kipp

Neighbourhood plans are the fundimental bases for our official community plan.  Supporting the visions of the community process by the development of policy using Bylay 4500 as an example.

Gary Korpan

I was the Mayor that got all our work in Plan Nanaimo actually adopted as Nanaimo’s Official Community Plan in 1993. It gave for the first time special significance to Neighbourhood Plans. I was particularly gratified to see the diligence and public participation your neighbourhood undertook in developing your Neighbourhood Plan. Council is to be guided by that component within the context of the whole bylaw. As always, elected officials must represent the greater good of the whole community over special or local interests if there is a conflict of direction or guidance.

Rodger Lomas

The ONP fits nicely and complimentary into the present global OCP. As we move into an inclusive Visioning process and formulation of the look, feel and flavour of the Nanaimo of the future that the people of Nanaimo want to see – then these plans ONP and OCP will be critical in the revision of each to reflect the Visioning outcomes and subsequent implementation plan, schedule and budgeting.

Zeni Maartman

The South End has been very proactive for a good number of years. The citizens have worked hard to build a better South End and we have! I will work with the South End, and support it’s implementation, within the guidelines of our OCP. Neighbourhood Associations play a vital role in our city. I would like to see all neighbourhoods throughout our city form associations, as the building blocks for our vision for the future. When I was a School Trustee, each trustee was assigned a set of schools to be the official Trustee Liason. We could have a similar program with Councillors.

Jeet Manhas

We spend enormous amount of time on our official Neighbourhood Community Plans. After they have been completed, at present we don’t have proper process to implement these plans.

We need to be more assertive in bringing these neighbourhood plans to be successful. When I am elected I want to work with neighhourhoods and city staff on setting a program to have these plans implemented.

Bill McKay

As I stated in the March by-election, it will be Council’s role to provide an environment that will be welcoming to private capital.  A small local developer who is building in our area, and who has dealt with many cities in past stated that Nanaimo is one of the WORST communities he has ever had to work with in an effort to move one of his projects forward.  We need to welcome investment, work with the neighbourhoods to ensure the type of development is appropriate, and move the projects along as quickly as possible.

Darcy Olsen

Communication between Council and Nanaimo neighbourhood associations, such as SECA, is key.  Nanaimo City Council needs to incorporate Neighbourhood Plans into the Official Community Plan so it has the full support it deserves.

Fred Pattje

It was a great source of satisfaction for me to have been able to help facilitate the South End’s Neighbourhood Plan. Our Official Community Plan speaks of these plans as ” building blocks of our municipal society” and I fully agree with that description. Council’s role in implementing this plan has many aspects and varies from assisting to maintain the character and livability of your neighbourhood to providing access to neighbourhood service levels to increasing housing choices and a host of other objectives in between………

Trent Snikkers

The South End Community Plan will be transformational.  I believe that neighbourhood plans form an integral part of the Official Community Plan.  It is not practical for any one City Councillor to fully grasp all the concerns of every neighbourhood and Neighbourhood Plans can facilitate the decision-making process for City Council.

As a city Councillor I would push to bring this Plan forward as expediently as possible to help the South End move ahead as a distinct community in Nanaimo.  The potential of the South End to become one of the most vibrant parts of Nanaimo is incredible.

Rob Zver

Council should work closely with the South End residents to assure that when they make decisions around land use it is within the communities desires and also enhances the vision of the city as a whole.

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4. What Mayoral Candidates think about a Multiplex.

Please feel free to share your comments or questions to candidates in the comment section below each posting!

Want to keep track of candidates responses? We’ve created a handy-dandy rating sheet. Click here for a copy you can print.

Candidates for Mayor

Over the past term, a motion was filed to build a Multiplex on the wharf lands in the South End, but it was not clear about who would pay for it. How necessary is a Multiplex? Who should pay for it…should it be a public or a private enterprise?

A Multiplex on zoned lands with private funds built for profit would be an asset and taxable.     ~Larry Iwaskow

I support the concept of a multiplex however, there are many issues that must first be answered.  I am firmly of the opinion that the Taxpayers of Nanaimo have little appetite to take on yet another mega project without knowing the true total cost of the PNC.  The “Taxpayers Bank of Nanaimo” is closed.  I would consider a possible public/private partnership, subject to prior qualification, whereby the City may consider providing suitable land if available, however only with a revenue share from the completed project. ~John Ruttan

The council motion instructed staff to survey the downtown (from the Howard Johnson in the north to Milton Street in the west and south and down to the waterfront on the east) for a possible multiplex site.  The downtown was chosen as council wished to encourage transit use to and from the complex and to bring people downtown.  The council has not yet received the report from staff.  I would consider a land grant for a multi-plex but I would not favour any public funds to build it: it has to be entirely financed by private funds.  I would not support a multi-plex outside the urban centre of Nanaimo.  I don’t know if a multi-plex is necessary.  A wide ranging community consultation would have to take place before we would know the degree of public support for such a project.     ~Diane Brennan
The taxpayers of Nanaimo cannot afford a massively expensive project like this for the foreseeable future.  As your Mayor, I have always said I need to see a credible business plan that shows a Multiplex is financially viable, not dependent on city taxpayers.  That there is sufficient population to support it, and the capital costs are paid by the beneficiaries.  Private sector initiatives like this should be paid by the private sector.  The City can assist in access and servicing but we are limited in our ability to subsidize something that is lower in priority to more necessary projects… like the water system upgrade.     ~Gary Korpan

Don’t forget to check out the response to this question from our Council candidates here.

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3. What Mayoral Candidates think about Homelessness and Affordable Housing.

This is question 3 of 4. We’ll be posting the last question on Wednesday November 5th. Please feel free to share your comments or questions to candidates in the comment section below each posting!

Want to keep track of candidates responses? We’ve created a handy-dandy rating sheet. Click here for a copy you can print.

Candidates for Mayor

Most Nanaimo residents understand that both homelessness and affordable housing are critical issues here in Nanaimo. If you could only support 3 initiatives to deal with these problems, what would they be?

I propose housing funded by private, Provincial and Federal funds.  As a temporary measure utilize empty buildings from all levels of Government.  The mentally and physically disabled should be supported and housed by Provincial and Federal agencies.     ~Larry Iwaskow

I would support purpose-built low barrier supported housing projects to deal with the homeless population with addiction and mental health problems.  If neighbourhoods are to have any relief from chronic homelessness, open drug use and sex trade then housing must be made available to this population.  I would spend two of my initiatives this way and make sure that the two projects were not placed in the same area of town.  My last “wish” or initiative would be to create incentives for developers to build affordable multi-family rental apartment buildings.  I would wish to see this type of housing in and around the downtown neighbourhoods to increase the number of people living there.  I would expect downtown workers, students, young families, older adults who are downsizing and seniors to choose this type of accommodation.  I believe the mix of multi-family housing in establish neighbourhood would enhance and enliven them.     ~Diane Brennan

Strict enforcement against the predators; medical treatment (eg detox) for the drug and alcohol dependent; safe, secure, supervised housing, particularly for the mentally challenged, with job re-training and placement opportunities.  No social service over-saturation that makes any one area a magnet for problems.     ~Gary Korpan

(a) I support additional substance abuse and rehabiliation programs for those struggling with substance abuse who want to get clean, get off the street, find employment and contribute to their community.
(b) In conjunction with the efforts of the local RCMP, I would work to provide an acceptable level of safety and security for those living in the South End.  I am particularly pleased with the results of the RCMP Bike Patrol, which I feel has met with considerable success by their initiatives and by showing a high profile in the area.
(c) There appears to be considerable commercial interest in the South End and in fact all of South Nanaimo.  I am very pleased that the Balmoral Hotel project is proceeding on schedule and the proposed condomunium development, directly across the street from the Balmoral project, is further evidence of renewed commercial confidence in the area. ~John Ruttan

Don’t forget to check out the response to this question from our Council candidates here.

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2. What Mayoral Candidates think about transforming Nicol Street.

Question 2 of 4 questions.  Please check back soon for Question 3.

Want to keep track of candidates responses? We’ve created a handy-dandy rating sheet. Click here for a copy you can print.

Candidates for Mayor

It seems that when the new Island Highway was completed, Nicol Street’s shift from highway to city street was overlooked in the process. We still have cars racing down an underutilized road with few safe crosswalks and no traffic calming measures. Motels that were vibrant decades ago have resorted to housing low-income and transient tenants to keep cash coming in, magnifying the area’s social problems. Further up Nicol, most stores are either struggling or empty, partially due to the lack of parking access or community development.  The province is in charge of highways, the city in charge of streets. What is Nicol Street classified as? If elected, what actions would you recommend to the city to transform Nicol Street from an outdated highway to a vibrant urban corridor?

The best option is the de-industrialization of the Assembly Wharf and rail yard but until that happens we need to enforce Truck Route and noise rules.  With the great views and infilling, I expect this area to see a major residential revival over the next 10 years.  Nicol St would likely see commercial on the street level with housing above.  As Nicol street is part of the Provincial Highway system, any development along the corridor will require MoT approval.     ~Gary Korpan

Nichol Street is still under the jurisdiction of (the Provincial) Highways Department and requests for change are at their discretion.  There will likely be a future opportunity to bring this under municipal control, but before this can occurr, we must ensure that Nichol Street is upgraded, at Provincial cost, to a primary road standard consistant with present day codes, together with securing the necessary funding to offset the transfer costs. ~John Ruttan

Nicol Street is a highway/truck route, I believe.  At the steering committee level (Nanaimo Traffic and Safety) I proposed traffic calming and designated bike routes on old Victoria Rd. and Haliburton St. and improve access to Nicol St. businesses from both.     ~Larry Iwaskow

The DNPS held a planning charet several years ago to generate ideas and plans for a transformation of Front Street from Esplanade to Comox Road.  A planning charet brings together all sectors, neighbourhoods, businesses, etc for a brain storming planning session.  The sky is the limit in terms of ideas and plans can become very creative.  I would use the planning charet model to determine the needs and generate ideas from the neighbourhood and businesses and services on and around Nicol Street.  I would expect to see traffic calming ideas, improved transit strategies, greening options, ideas for commercial space and more.  From there, we would begin the hard work of creating a strategic plan to begin to refine and ultimately implement the plan.     ~Diane Brennan

Don’t forget to check out the response to this question from our Council candidates here.

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1. What Mayoral Candidates think about changes in the South End.

Question 1 of 4 questions.  Please check back soon for Question 2.

Want to keep track of candidates responses?  We’ve created a handy-dandy rating sheet.  Click here for a copy you can print.

Candidates for Mayor

The South End is changing. Would you briefly comment on your understanding of the changes here?

The south end is changing yet again. It has always been an affordable inclusive neighbourhood but over the past 7 or 8 years, it was becoming a neighbourhood in decline. First, its school was lost, then the parks and streets began to be gathering places for a homeless, often drug addicted and/or mentally ill people. In response, a number of social service agencies began to offer services and the neighbourhood started to feel under siege.About 2 years ago, the neighbourhood began to push back and today we are seeing a vibrant action oriented community emerge that is determined to be in charge of its future. The neighbourhood is taking steps to return to its “affordable neighbourhood” roots with an emphasis on inclusion.     ~Diane Brennan

As a resident of Nanaimo since 1967 my observation has been that the South End neighbourhood has struggled with residential in too close proximity with heavy industrial. As we continue to encourage industry to move to Duke Point the resurgence of the area will occur. Finding the balance between the historic character and incorporating new residential and commercial growth is a major challenge. As long as we are all respectful of the revised Official Community Plan, with Neighbourhood involvement, I am optimistic the area can progress as its residents prefer.     ~Gary Korpan

A community is trying to form a plan to reduce industry and improve residential as well as enhancement and upgrades on specific commercial and industrial properties. As an example South Town Center, Cable Bay, Multiplex, Cruise Ship slips, and Port Place Mall Casino.     ~Larry Iwaskow

Don’t forget to read the responses to this question from City Council Candidates here.

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Presentation on Homelessness Thursday October 16

Nanaimo Working Group

on Homelessness

invites you to attend

“Streets to Homes”

Please join us on Thursday, October 16, 2008 from 7:30 – 8:30 pm in the Dodd Narrows Room (Vancouver Island Conference Centre – 101 Gordon Street).

There are ways of providing homes for the homeless and Toronto has found a way. Come and hear how we in Nanaimo can apply this model!

Iain de Jong – keynote speaker is the Manager of the Streets to Homes Program in Toronto. He and his team are responsible for finding approximately 1,200 homes for Toronto’s homeless since 2005.

The Streets to Homes program is nationally and internationally recognized as a best practice and is the recipient of numerous awards for both the substance and quality of the program in the areas of housing, health and public policy.

Iain has worked on housing and homelessness issues for the City of Toronto for the past seven years, and prior to that worked in the non-governmental, non-profit and private sector. In addition to Iain’s work with the City of Toronto, he is a part-time faculty member in the Graduate Planning Program at York University, specializing in community planning and social policy.

Panel – Peter Birze, Diane Brennan, John Horn,

Iain de Jong, and a neighbour of a social housing project

RSVP – Cheryl or Rosemary, NRJHS 250.754.1266

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