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Nanaimo city council candidate out and about, connecting with as many people as he can

Viraat BK Thammanna puts his name forward again
Nanaimo city council candidate Viraat BK Thammanna is out and about in the community and knocking on doors in the lead-up to the local government election Oct. 15. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo city council candidate Viraat BK Thammanna figures he could write a book on door-knocking by now.

The 56-year-old says he’s a people person and so he loves knocking on doors, and his experiences at doorsteps have run the gamut. Since current city councillors aren’t generally out and about door-knocking during their council term, many residents have been perfectly happy to tell Thammanna just what they think about the city and the council.

The candidate said he won’t criticize current councillors and respects their job and their efforts.

“What can I do, what can we do? That’s what I want to talk about,” he said. “Because whining and crying about the past doesn’t make anything better, but let’s learn from the past and then correct the same thing in the future for the betterment of society.”

Thammanna, a retired Canadian Forces soldier, has experience championing causes. In the late 1980s he cycled in five continents to promote healthy activity as an alternative to drug addiction for youths. In the early ’90s, he skipped rope all the way from an Alberta border town to Vancouver, also to promote fitness.

In Nanaimo, following an unsuccessful city council campaign in 2018, he’s kept up the pace, serving on numerous boards and committees, participating in cleanups, planting trees, and trying to be everywhere all at once to the point that people ask him if he’s cloned himself.

“I know a lot of issues that are happening, I know exactly what Nanaimo requires because I am so connected with the grassroots of Nanaimo,” Thammanna said.

Around the community and on doorsteps he hears a lot of concerns about homelessness, mental health and addictions and related social problems. He said it will take collaboration with the province to improve addiction treatment services for those who need it, opening up shelter and job training and employment services for others. It’s important to address those issues because he noted that they’re related to Nanaimo’s efforts to attract tourists and business, for example. He wants to see a city united, with people of any political leaning working together.

Thammanna was 29th out of 40 candidates in vote count in 2018. He said he doesn’t really consider himself in a race, and he doesn’t even ask people directly for their vote – he just wants to talk to them.

“If people recognize my hard work, my ideas, my knowledge, my energy and zeal to go to the city council and work for better, [for] transformation, they will vote for me,” he said.

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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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