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Land trust exec running for election to Nanaimo city council

NALT executive director Paul Chapman favours collaborative approach to take on challenging issues
Paul Chapman, executive director of Nanaimo Area Land Trust, is running for Nanaimo city council. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

A community member who’s led efforts in protecting Nanaimo’s natural spaces is looking to take on another leadership role.

Paul Chapman, who has been executive director of Nanaimo and Area Land Trust for five years, is running for a spot on Nanaimo city council.

The 54-year-old said living in Nanaimo comes with a lot of benefits and so he’d like to give back and be part of the work locally responding to the climate crisis, affordability crisis and homelessness and related challenges.

“Those are the broad issues facing us and there’ll be others that come in,” he said. “I’ll approach decision-making looking through an environmental lens as well.”

He expects his skills would transfer well to the city council table, as he has plenty of experience sitting on committees, boards, and at round-tables, not always alongside like-minded people, and said those who have worked with him know that he values collaboration.

“It’s really important that we find a common ground and realize that we’re all coming from places of caring – caring about our family, our friends, our community – and sometimes we just voice those concerns differently,” Chapman said. “If we can find that common ground and identify what’s important, then we can have opportunities – even for loud voices in opposition to each other – to find ways of working together.”

He said a lot of the responsibility for addressing crisis situations falls on senior levels of government, but there are opportunities for cities to “work the levers that we have available.” Positive change, if it’s going to be lasting and supported, has to involve everyone, he said.

Asked about Nanaimo’s political landscape and whether voters are looking for change on council, Chapman said every election is in some part a reaction to the status quo.

“We all remember more tumultuous times before this council,” he said. “But we also look at our community and see things we’d like to change, or would like to change faster.”

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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