He sat in the House of Commons, and now he’d like to sit in council chambers.
Paul Manly, elected twice as member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, has announced he’s running for city council.
The former Green Party MP was unseated in the 2021 federal election and although he said supporters wanted him to subsequently try for the Green Party of Canada leadership, there were a few reasons why he was drawn instead to municipal politics.
He did get opportunities to work across party lines in Ottawa and got some amendments passed in Parliament, but he said there was also “a lot of toxicity” that came along with partisan politics.
“It doesn’t fit my personality well. I’m much more into co-operation and collaboration and working with people on the things that we can agree on and push for change that way,” Manly said.
He said local government is important because it’s where “the rubber hits the road” and where decisions affect people where they live.
“There’s a lot of things that can be done at the local level that need to be done,” he said. “We’re dealing with a lot of really serious problems – affordability, homelessness, we’re in a climate crisis and all of these things are just becoming more and more apparent. I felt compelled to keep on working on some of these issues.”
He said he’s interested in joining a team on Nanaimo city council that he said “is making positive change,” and he thinks he has some new ideas to bring to the table. He’s interested in addressing affordability concerns at the local level and strengthening foundations for small and medium-sized businesses, and thinks Nanaimo can do a better job of lobbying and advocating to the provincial and federal governments to try to help with a range of issues.
Manly, currently executive director of the Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter and a filmmaker, small business owner and food security advocate, said he’s dedicated to the community and eager to continue to serve.
“This is my home. I want to see the community thrive and be resilient in the face of change…” he said. “I see a lot of work to do and I’m just ready to roll up my sleeves and carry on.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.