News

Elected official admits to public urination

The only Nanaimo city councillor opposed to spending $100,000 on a public washroom at Diana Krall Plaza admitted on a radio program Tuesday that he has personally urinated outside in downtown Nanaimo.

Coun. Bill McKay told the CBC’s Rick Cluff, host of The Early Edition, that he has urinated on a downtown building, though he didn’t say which one.

When asked if he felt a public toilet would solve the issue of public urination downtown, McKay responded in part by saying, “I know that even myself, I’ve had the occasion to stop on the side of the highway or in behind a building in downtown Nanaimo, and not once has the Queen ever scolded me for doing that.”

Cluff then noted that McKay himself is an offender.

“I’m fearful that I might be apprehended at some point,” said McKay, adding it was not a recent event.

“Sometimes I shoot from the hip, plus, the producer coaxed me to say it,” he told the News Bulletin Wednesday.

Nanaimo RCMP issued more than 300 tickets last year for public urination. To stop the flow of offenders, a porta-pottie was temporarily installed at the corner of Bastion and Skinner streets.

On Jan. 14, city council approved a motion 8-1 to allow for $100,000 to be included in the 2013 budget for a permanent public toilet at Diana Krall Plaza.

McKay said he understands the need for a public loo at that location, but feels the price is too high.

“I don’t know why [council] always has to go with the most expensive option,” he said.

Annual operation costs are estimated at $10,000.

Council will determine whether to go ahead with the project during its budget deliberations.

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