Leonard Krog makes a speech at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre on election night. CHRIS BUSH/The NEWS BULLETIN

Year in review: Nanaimo voters elected new mayor, council

Municipal election had impacts on provincial, federal politics, too

In our Dec. 27 issue, the News Bulletin detailed our story of the year for 2018, Discontent City. That article can be found at this link. Here is one of the runner-up stories of the year:

A municipal election gave citizens the chance to vote for the change that they clearly wanted.

A new mayor, six new councillors and only two incumbents comprise Nanaimo’s city council at the end of 2018 after an election that seemed to last a lot longer than the official campaign period.

In the first few months of the year, events at city hall – including a police investigation and firing of upper managers – had more and more citizens expressing dissatisfaction with civic leadership. Council candidates began to declare their intentions early, most notably then-MLA Leonard Krog, in June.

In the end, there were three mayoral candidates and 40 councillor candidates on the ballot in the City of Nanaimo. Only four of the nine members of the previous council sought re-election: Sheryl Armstrong, Gord Fuller, Jerry Hong and Ian Thorpe. Former mayor Bill McKay was among those who decided not to run in 2018.

“I did the best that I could under extremely trying circumstances,” McKay said.

Forty council candidates made voter information events such as all-candidates’ meetings unwieldy. The voter engagement group Our Nanaimo and the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce took leadership in organizing two forums and there were a few other debates and question-and-answer gatherings, some organized by candidates themselves.

On voting day, Krog was voted in as mayor in a landslide ahead of runner-up Don Hubbard (and Ray Farmere, who asked for a recount) and many council candidates were elected with strong voter support. Erin Hemmens led the polls and other successful candidates, in order of vote count, were Armstrong, Ben Geselbracht, Tyler Brown, Jim Turley, Don Bonner, Thorpe and Zeni Maartman.

Krog said on election night that Nanaimo is fortunate that it will have a good council and maybe a great council.

“Obviously Nanaimo is anxious to get on with progress and change…” Krog said. “It is about bringing people together for change and I think the candidates who are leading tonight speak to that as loudly as they possibly could and the voters obviously supported that message.”

Nanaimo’s new mayor and council were sworn in on Nov. 5, but even before then, the municipal election had already had impacts on other levels of government. Just four days after Nanaimo voted in Krog as mayor, then-Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson was introduced by B.C. Premier John Horgan as someone who would be putting her name forward for the provincial NDP nomination in the riding. She later won the nomination unopposed, and will run against B.C. Liberal candidate Tony Harris, B.C. Greens candidate Michele Ney and others in a byelection in 2019.

What’s more, Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding now has no federal representation and it’s possible a byelection will also be required in advance of the fall 2019 federal election.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Engineer will detail B.C.’s earthquake early warning system at Nanoose talk

Bob Crosby presents Saturday, Nov. 16, as part of VIU ElderCollege speakers series

City intends to help Nanaimo BMX with design phase of track upgrades

Finance and audit committee recommends council consider $35,000 expenditure

Dinner celebrating all things Cedar will include ‘patchwork of pies’

Cedar Community Hall will host a dinner this Saturday, Nov. 16

Lantzville’s potential property tax increase ticks up to almost 25 per cent

Additional increase due to creation of reserve funds

Man and dog safe as crews handle house fire in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

Firefighters were called to 400 block of Machleary Street at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday

Man and dog safe as crews handle house fire in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

Firefighters were called to 400 block of Machleary Street at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Adoption centre closes despite effort to save it; B.C. left with two agencies

Choices Adoption and Pregnancy Counselling in Victoria was set to close in April

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to meet with Trudeau today to discuss throne speech

Top ask will be for Liberal support for the immediate creation of a national universal pharmacare program

B.C. set to announce changes around youth vaping, regulations

Move will involved education, tightening access, working with partners and pressuring the federal government

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

City of Nanaimo asking for opinions about planned downtown mobility hub

Short-term improvements include Front Street bikeway, intersection upgrades and more

Eden Gardens’ calendar sure to be a chart-topper

Dementia care facility working on fundraiser project

Most Read