Nanaimo: Local food production, public harbour important for Brunie

Brunie Brunie has lived on the Island for about 40 years.

Brunie Brunie is an independent candidate running in the Nanaimo riding.

Brunie Brunie is an independent candidate running in the Nanaimo riding.

Brunie Brunie has lived on the Island for about 40 years – basically ever since she flew over it in a plane one day and decided that this is where she wanted to put down roots.

A real estate agent off and on since she was 30, the 70-year-old, who was born in Germany but moved to the Interior of B.C. when she was five, has lived in Victoria, Duncan, Parksville, on Lasqueti Island and now Nanaimo, where she lives on her boat.

Besides working in the real estate industry, Brunie has also owned a clothing boutique, designed clothing and taught ballroom dancing.

This is not her first crack at extending her experience into the political sphere. Brunie has run in several previous provincial elections, as well as several times at the municipal level, the last time being the November 2011 municipal election, when she vied for a spot on Nanaimo city council.

“Everyone thinks I should run for mayor, but I think I’ll wait until I’m 90,” she said. “I’m called a community advocate and I didn’t buy that title – I earned it.”

As an independent, Brunie believes she can represent her constituents well.

“There’s no one controlling me, I’m not talking for a party,” she said.

If elected, her first priority is securing a “protective covenant” on the B.C. coastline – Brunie was one of the vocal opponents to a proposed 30-year lease of the Boat Basin between the Nanaimo Port Authority and a private company and organized a blockade of the Boat Basin last August.The authority recently announced the agreement would not go forward.

A second priority for Brunie is encouraging more local food production. She would promote the establishment of “high-tech greenhouse super-gardens” across the city.

“They can go on empty lots throughout the riding,” said Brunie. “It would create a lot of jobs. It is the most important economic development we can do.”

Also running in Nanaimo riding are Leonard Krog (NDP); Walter Anderson (B.C. Liberals); Bryce Crigger (B.C. Conservatives); and Ian Gartshore (Green).

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