A Nanaimo city council candidate felt that with his skill set and his sense of dissatisfaction in the last council, he needed to run for election.
Lloyd MacIlquham is one of 40 candidates running for Nanaimo city council in the municipal election Saturday, Oct. 20.
He filed his candidacy papers on the day they were due and said he’s been playing catch-up since. Part of what motivated him to run was a visit to Toronto where he heard Nanaimo politics discussed in a negative light.
“With my background, I felt strongly I should do something,” he said.
MacIlquham has been a lawyer for 29 years and has a masters’ degree in mathematics, and said those skill sets allow him to understand numbers and assess evidence.
“I think that I’m able to do the critical analysis of different problems and be able to sift through the evidence to determine a good solution based on sound evidence and present it to the people,” he said. “And I think it all has to be done with transparency.”
That transparency is a priority MacIlquham repeated a few times, saying, “as far as I could see and as far as what I’ve heard, it was just missing in the last council.”
He’d like to see a strengthened committee framework not only to add more voices, but also to provide more opportunities for community outreach. He also sees potential for more social media engagement.
“We’re getting to the stage where if you can overthrow a government on Facebook, you should be able to get input from people in the community about a particular solution,” MacIlquham said.
Aside from governance, homelessness is something a lot of people want to talk about on the campaign trail, he said.
“As a community, as a society, how do we want to deal with it? And I feel it should be dealt with on a compassionate level. Get them in homes first and then approach solutions to their problems,” he said, adding that people experiencing homelessness will be more amenable to responding to services if they’re housed first.
As far as affordable housing, he proposes incentives for people to renovate and rent out downstairs suites, which he said would be a way to quickly add to the city’s housing stock.
MacIlquham, who with his wife organizes a combined Robbie Burns Day-Chinese New Year event every year, sees potential in Nanaimo for a multicultural hub with restaurants, shops and special events.
While he has his own ideas, MacIlquham it’s “vitally important” for Nanaimo’s city councillors to be willing to hear from others.
“If you listen to what people have to say, then you can feel much more confident that the position that you take is one that’s going to be of benefit for everybody,” he said.