Don Hubbard, Ray Farmere and Leonard Krog participated in a debate Tuesday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Mayoral candidates debate their visions for leadership in Nanaimo

Don Hubbard, Ray Farmere and Leonard Krog participated in a debate Tuesday at the conference centre

Voters have more information, now, as they prepare to elect Nanaimo’s new mayor next week.

A City of Nanaimo mayoral debate featuring all three candidates was held Tuesday night at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, hosted by the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and the Our Nanaimo voter engagement group.

Don Hubbard, Ray Farmere and Leonard Krog debated a handful of topics including leadership and homelessness in front of more than 500 people.

Hubbard said he sets goals and helps others achieve their goals.

“We have so many huge challenges in front of us, but I am ready…” he said. “I am obviously not a professional politician but I am a person that has a proven record and can get things done.”

Krog said he hopes voters are feeling the same excitement and anticipation he’s been feeling. He said Nanaimo is ready for change and ready to get back on track.

“This is a wonderful town … and the last four years we have not done with it and created all that it could have been or should be,” Krog said.

Farmere said he would look forward to working with council and listening to what everybody has to say.

“I want to be the mayor who’s here for the people to help the people,” he said.

On leadership, Hubbard said he’s always believed in seeking consensus and doesn’t want a situation where council members are divided into an us-versus-them mentality.

“We had them and us recently. We don’t want that again,” he said.

Krog said he likes the idea of working in a collaborative atmosphere.

“I’ve spent 18 years in the B.C. legislature where if they say it’s black, we say it’s white and then we spend the rest of the day debating that. I want to work in a co-operative atmosphere that gets this city back on track,” he said.

Affordable housing and homelessness came up a few times. Both Hubbard and Krog panned this past weekend’s Schoolhouse Squat, but addressed some of the related issues. Hubbard suggested that with supportive housing, for example, community members weren’t properly informed.

“All the people I’ve talked to know that we’ve got a duty of care, giving people a hand up. But we have to go and talk to the public about this…” he said. “Whether it was the right place or not, it still is a problem when you don’t talk to our taxpayers.”

Krog said he wants to see people housed, he wants to see neighbourhoods safe and he doesn’t want people getting harassed at the mall downtown.

“Everybody wants the crisis of homelessness solved, but I’m not prepared to commit this city to more than its fair share of its responsibility from a legal and jurisdictional point of view,” he said.

Krog added that the province’s request that Discontent City operate during a transition period to new supportive housing is a sensible one. Farmere agreed, saying that dismantling the camp any sooner would be an “injustice against humanity.”

“What would happen if we could put that money towards a better use, towards helping the people rather than starting a civil war with them within our own community?” he asked.

Hubbard said a lot of people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo come from elsewhere and said “we can’t be the saviour of the whole country.” He said he welcomes people who move to Nanaimo.

“But also, you’re allowed to come here whether you’ve got a home or not and that’s a challenge for our culture, our economy and our way of life. I don’t want to be cold-hearted with this, but we really have to be careful we don’t become the place to go to,” he said.

During closing remarks, Farmere said he wants to help make a “better Nanaimo, a Nanaimo for the people.”

Krog said he’s excited by the candidates running for council and feels an obligation to serve as mayor.

“We’re on the cusp of some wonderful things,” he said.

Hubbard said he’ll put his heart and sould into achieving the goals and objectives the next council sets out.

“People can work together on very difficult issues with the right leadership,” he said. “I have done heavy lifting on many occasions, but never did I do it alone; I always did it as a team.”

Kim Smythe, chamber CEO, told those in attendance that voter turnout is only part of the equation.

“This year our theme is vote smart,” he said. “Educate and inform yourselves and reach for the best possible choices when you mark your ballot.”

To read News Bulletin questionnaire responses from Farmere, Hubbard and Krog, click here or here.

Previous voter information events:

Candidates ponder affordable housing and homelessness

Candidates talk waterfront planning, supportive housing at south-end debate

Five-candidates’ meeting held in north Nanaimo

Upcoming voter information events:

Hospital-area town hall with four Nanaimo city council candidates planned for Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. at Windward Pub. With Sheryl Armstrong, Guy Beaulieu, Tyler Brown, Erin Hemmens.

District of Lantzville all-candidates’ meeting, Thursday, Oct. 11, 6-9 p.m., Costin Hall.

Nanaimo council candidates’ meet and greet with eight candidates Thursday, Oct. 11, 7-9 p.m. at Departure Bay Kin Hut. With Tyler Brown, Zeni Maartman, Don Bonner, Erin Hemmens, Wendy Pratt, Ben Geselbracht, Jim Turley, Alexis Petersen.

District of Lantzville all-candidates’ meeting, Sunday, Oct. 14, 3-5 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 257.

Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce/Our Nanaimo council candidates’ forum, Oct. 15, 6-9 p.m., Vancouver Island Conference Centre.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Time to think about this year’s top teams and star athletes

Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards now accepting nominations

Island Health expanding baby bed program in Nanaimo

Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island provides grant of $350,000

Nanaimo Clippers score teddy bears, win one on weekend

Sean Donaldson scores Teddy Bear Toss goal

Snuneymuxw First Nation shuffles leadership with council election

Three incumbents return as five of 10 council seats contested

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Gas companies gouging

Gas station operators charge more for fuel in Nanaimo because they can, says letter writer

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Gogo’s tree farm celebrates 90th year of growing Christmas trees

Gogo Christmas tree farm has grown Christmas trees since 1929 and started U-cut business in 1984

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

Most Read