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Fresh university grad has short-term and long-term ideas for Nanaimo city council

Peter Lee one of 29 candidates for council
Nanaimo city council candidate Peter Lee speaks at a campaign launch event last week at Sway’ A’ Lana Lagoon. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

A young man from Nanaimo just finished his university degree program and wants to get to work – at the city council table.

Peter Lee, 21, is one of 29 candidates vying for a seat on council. He studied public policy at the University of Toronto, where he learned about the workings of various levels of government, and is ready to apply his knowledge and energy toward making his community better.

“I don’t think age is a barrier. I think it’s very much a strength for me,” he said. “It’s the ability to look at a big picture with a fresh set of eyes … It’s about looking forward to what Nanaimo can be and where Nanaimo will be and coming up with solutions to make sure that can happen.”

Lee says public safety is his top priority, adding that the increase in crime severity in the city is “shameful.”

“Our city needs to regain confidence to live, work and play without fear,” he said. “I will take the necessary steps to tackle crime, to reclaim our streets from violence and repeat offenders.”

That will take a range of approaches, he said, including accessing federal and provincial funding and working with non-profit agencies on social services. Council decides on police funding and policing priorities, Lee noted, and he favours greater police presence downtown, more surveillance and better lighting.

He also wants to talk about affordable housing during this campaign, and said he would try to encourage more high-density housing and non-market housing in the city. He’ll consider development – and other city policies, for that matter – through a “sustainability lens,” he said.

As a new name on a packed election ballot, Lee said he’s been door-knocking and walking the beat to raise his profile. Campaigning, he said, takes both clear communication and a willingness to listen to other people’s priorities.

Lee said the current city council did a good job of making the previous council’s dysfunction a thing of the past.

“But I think it’s time to realign our priorities and there’s a great, great appetite for this…” he said. “People want city council to address the big problems.”

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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

ELECTION 2022: Candidates in Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN and SD68

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