Taxation has led a former Conservative Party of Canada candidate, who thought he was done with politics, to enter the political arena again.
Mark MacDonald, who was the longtime publisher of the Business Examiner and was also editor of the Nanaimo Daily News, ran for Nanaimo-Ladysmith member of Parliament in 2015 and told the News Bulletin after the campaign he didn’t intend to run for office again. Things change, however, and he is among the candidates seeking to represent Extension-East Wellington-Pleasant Valley (Electoral Area C) for the Regional District of Nanaimo.
“I’ve lived out here for about 12 years, and we’ve had good representation, but our former director (Maureen Young) passed away, and one of the big issues that faces us out here … is some of the residents have been paying 18 years, a double tax for a satellite fire hall to house a fire truck here and we just get the runaround,” said MacDonald.
The area is well served by Extension Volunteer Fire Department, he said, but the cost is prohibitive and residents need a voice to address that and other issues.
“There’s three issues I’m running on: that protection for fire – there’s way too many bush buddies parties out here; the potholes on the roads are terrible; and the permitting process is extremely slow and excruciating for anybody wanting to build in the area,” MacDonald said.
He also thinks overall taxation in Area C is too high.
“I’ve always been fighting tax increases,” he said. “And it’s just the residential tax increase just keeps escalating every year and there’s not enough accountability for how those dollars are spent and I really believe that those those increases need to slow down. It’s just getting out of hand.”
Young served the area for 16 years and MacDonald said he was surprised to see five people vying for the position.
“I think it’s indicative of the fact that there’s some pretty serious needs in Area C and I hope to get in a position to help out there,” he said.
Anyone running for mayor or councillor in the City of Nanaimo or the District of Lantzville, regional director in the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Area A, B, C or E, or school trustee in School District 68 is asked to contact the Nanaimo News Bulletin to set up an interview or invite us to a campaign launch event. Phone Greg Sakaki at 250-734-4621 or e-mail email@example.com.