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Regional District of Nanaimo board elects new chairperson

Vanessa Craig now RDN chairperson, Tyler Brown becomes vice-chairperson
Vanessa Craig is the new Regional District of Nanaimo chairperson, while Tyler Brown will now be vice-chairperson. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

With municipal elections in the rear-view mirror, Regional District of Nanaimo got back to business with election of board executives at its inaugural meeting.

Newly elected rural area and municipal directors gathered Tuesday, Nov. 8, at RDN headquarters, taking oaths of office and choosing a new board chairperson and vice-chairperson.

Vanessa Craig, Gabriola Island area director, was voted board chairperson, while Tyler Brown, City of Nanaimo director, was chosen vice-chairperson. The two, on the previous board, held the other’s position. Craig told the News Bulletin she was honoured to be selected and her work as vice-chair on the previous board allowed her to develop relationships and an understanding of what’s happening in different areas of the region.

A tertiary hospital is top of mind, said Craig. It was a top priority of the last board and “the priority” for the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District board, she said.

“The hospital has so many demands on it and it serves the entire population north of the Malahat,” Craig said. “Its current condition is deteriorating, so there’s an opportunity now. With the last election, one of the campaign promises was a cancer care centre, so to be able to build on that with our other priorities, which are cardiac care, a patient tower and some other aspects, I think will be very beneficial for the mid to north Island region.”

Craig also spoke of the importance of rural area representation at the top of the board.

“For electoral area directors, this is our one board where we can discuss issues and bring to the forefront issues that are affecting our areas,” she said. “Municipal directors have the municipal councils for a lot of their work, so I think it’s very important to have the electoral area perspective.”

Rural area directors include Jessica Stanley in Cedar-South Wellington, Lauren Melanson in Extension-East Wellington, Bob Rogers in Nanoose Bay, Leanne Salter in Coombs-Errington, Lehann Wallace in French Creek and Stuart McLean in Bowser.

Directors for the cities of Nanaimo and Parksville, District of Lantzville and Town of Qualicum Beach were also appointed. Leonard Krog, Sheryl Armstrong, Brown, Ben Geselbracht, Erin Hemmens, Paul Manly, Janice Perrino and Ian Thorpe will represent Nanaimo, with Hilary Eastmure as alternate.

Doug O’Brien and Sean Wood will represent Parksville, with Joel Grenz and Mary Beil as alternates.

Mark Swain will represent Lantzville with Ian Savage as alternate. Teunis Westbroek will represent Qualicum Beach, with Anne Skipsey the alternate.

A chairperson and vice-chairperson were also chosen for the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District board. Thorpe returns as chairperson and Perrino will be the vice-chairperson.

Craig ran against Rogers for board chairperson, while Brown, Thorpe and Perrino were acclaimed.

RELATED: New directors elected in RDN’s Area A and Area C

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

I joined Black Press in 2010 and cover education, court and RDN. I am a Ma Murray and CCNA award winner.
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