Don Hubbard announced Thursday morning his intention to run for mayor of Nanaimo in this fall’s local government election. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Hubbard announces he’s running for mayor of Nanaimo

Former chairman of university and health authority boards puts his name forward

The next municipal election campaign hasn’t officially begun, but at the same time, it’s already underway.

Don Hubbard announced Thursday morning his intention to run for mayor of Nanaimo in this fall’s local government election.

Hubbard has been chairman of the Malaspina University-College and Vancouver Island Health Authority boards and was Nanaimo Citizen of the Year in 2007.

“We’ve lost our way in the last 10 years, unfortunately,” he said at a press conference at Bastion Square Park. “We’ve lost our way economically, we’ve lost our way culturally here and our whole civic image has gone into decay.”

He said every time he picks up the newspaper, there’s more news that is concerning, and it’s a source of embarrassment for himself and others in the community.

“It’s time for a change, a big change and we need good civic leadership here…” Hubbard said. “I really think I’ve got what it takes to do this so today I’m going to stop complaining.”

He’s calling for a “full audit of expenditures and how decisions were made” the last few years at city hall and said it’s not a witch hunt, but a matter of clearing the air before moving forward.

He said he’s choosing to announce his candidacy now in hopes of motivating other potential city council candidates to put their names forward.

“There’s been a lot of fear, nobody wants to get involved because they’re afraid of the fray that’s going on…” he said. “There are a lot of really community-minded people and I think I’ve attracted a few. They haven’t come out yet publicly, but they will.”

Norm Smith announced in 2016 that he was planning to run for mayor in 2018.

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