Tuesday, November 04, 2008



Last night, Monday Nov. 3, the 26 candidates running for Nanaimo City Council had the opportunity to pitch voters as to why they deserve our vote.

The Mt. Benson Ballroom D was the location of the standing room only crowd who came out to meet the Council hopefuls.

Each candidate had the opportunity to give a one minute opening and one minute closing pitch in addition to fielding questions from the audience.

The future of the hotel adjacent the PNC was a hot topic with members of existing council being in favour of continuing with the deal with Millennium while several candidates favoured scrapping the deal and finding a new developer. All felt the hotel needs to be completed if the convention center is going to be a success.

Whether taxes should be lowered for taxpayers such as Harmac with the burden then passed to local residents brought a mixed reaction from the audience.

The subject of freezing or actually reducing taxes seems to be something which the new City Council is quite capable of doing providing the political will is there to reach this goal. Blake McGuffie pointed out, the City has ample cash reserves which could be used rather than always looking for more taxes to complete projects.

The building of a new sports multiplex is favoured by most candidates with some only in favour if it does not require taxpayer funding.

Helping the homeless is also near the top of everyones agenda with some candidates urging immediate action to provide temporary shelter with winter fast approaching. There are differing opinions as to the best way to solve this social problem.

Anyone who is civic minded enough to let their names stand for election and then sacrifice their time to run in an election deserves the credit and appreciation of their fellow residents.

Take the time to find out where candidates stand on the issues you feel important, meet with those wishing to be elected or visit their websites to learn how they would represent you if elected. Participate in the process if you ever hope for democracy to reach it's full potential.


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