He finished well back in last year’s byelection, but he’s ready to take another run at a city council seat.
Fred Statham is campaigning for Nanaimo city council in the coming local government election. He officially announced his candidacy at a City of Nanaimo budget meeting last December, but said he already knew by last July that he wanted to run again.
“As soon as the campaign was over, the grand campaign 2.0 was already ready to go,” Statham said.
He finished 12th out of 13 candidates in the byelection, garnering 63 votes, but said there were “a lot of lessons learned” through that experience.
“I knew I wasn’t going to win in the first week of the campaign,” he said, adding that he heard from voters that they were wishing for better gender balance on council.
Statham said people didn’t really know him then, as he’d only moved back to Nanaimo two years before, but he thinks he now has a higher profile in the community.
“I’ve been out there talking about all the issues, and my major issue of affordable housing for everybody,” he said.
He said he doesn’t fault Nanaimo council for failing to move forward on a planned supportive housing project earlier this year, suggesting the province’s timelines weren’t reasonable, but he did say the city could have been clearer with its communication on the project.
Statham is critical of former senior staff and says their actions show there’s a need for strengthened expense policies and greater transparency at city hall.
Another priority Statham mentioned is the Port Drive planning, saying the south downtown waterfront land is important to Nanaimo for several reasons.
“Downtown has to be the anchor of a thriving economy and [at] 1 Port Drive, I would really like to see at mixed economy. Let’s have small businesses, let’s have some residential in there. Basically a mixed economy like Granville Island,” he said, adding he’d favour high-end condos, mid-range homes and social housing in that part of the city.
Statham said while housing is at the centre of his campaign, there are a lot of other issues and ideas he wants to talk about.
“Let’s build a great city for our grandchildren,” he said in his campaign materials.
For more on the coming local government elections, visit www.nanaimobulletin.com/tag/election-2018.