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BILL   MANNERS                

Moving AHEAD INTO 2020

As we move beyond 2020, there are a number of exciting projects that will see our city grow.  Some we have been waiting for, and others have a new focus within our boundaries.  


On January 21, 2020 I attended the Regional District of Nanaimo's Transit Select Committee and gave a presentation on the NANAIMO PLAN - to implement fare free transit passes to students in SD 68 & SD69 starting with grade 8 students.  The plan is to progress each year forward to Grade 12, one grade at a time.  By year 5 all high school students will have fare free transit passses.
The intent is to bring transit as a preferred mode of transportation in the Regional District from Deep Bay to Nanaimo Airport.  If we educate students to ride the buses.  It is economical, convenient and green.  Lets save money by using bus travel instead of paying for fuel and parking.  Transit is a convenient, reliable and secure mode of transportation.  As a green initiative it reduces traffic congestion and air pollution. 

It allows students to participate in activities at schools and away from schools such as Band, Soccer, Basketball, Gymnastics, Hockey, Ballet, Rugby, Golf, Dance, Skating, Swimming and other Social Activities.

The Regional District of Nanaimo represented by Directors from Cedar, Nanaimo, East Wellington, Lantzville, Gabriola, Parksville, Qualicum, Deep Bay, Errington and points in between passed a motion " 
That a report be prepared for the Transit Select Committee’s consideration that reviews the successful initiatives implemented by Kingston, ON, and other Regional District models, to increase transit ridership and outline options and implications for similar initiatives that could be implemented in the Regional District of Nanaimo context. "

I look forward to the report.
Background Information:  At a meeting hosted by Ian Gartshore, a group of Nanaimo residents interested in expanding transportation [ Facebook Group - Transportation Nanaimo ]in our city at the Harewood Quality Foods had a discussion about the Kingston Model, which resembles the above.  Kevin Hood and myself met many times since that meeting in October 2019 and Tyler Brown who was also in attendance brought the concept forward at the RDN in December, however due to lack of planning at the RDN, it did not make it onto an agenda to be spoken on until January 2020.  I would like to recognize Kevin Hood for his active participation working with School District 68 students (YOUCAN) and school staff. 



On January 29, 2020 I attended the Ground Breaking of the new hotel project downtown.  The Founder/CEO of PEG Companies from Utah, Cameron Gunter hosted the ground breaking ceremony with Snuneymuxw First Nations, MLA's Council members and the public.  (Nanaimo Courtyard Marriott) Building Description: 9 Stories, 172 Hotel Suites, 1st storey: Lobby, Lounge, Bistro, Meeting rooms, Swimming pool and Fitness room,

Cam Gunter stated this 9 storey, 172 room Marriott Courtyard at 100 Gordon Street beside the Port Theatre, Vancouver Island Conference Centre, The Casino and Piper Park will be completed within the following 18 months.   Personally, I have been awaiting a hotel on this site since the early 2000 and am glad that PEG has stepped up, with their purchase of the property and awarding a Vancouver Company with the Construction of the Hotel.

Sandstone Project had an exciting open house on 13th of November 6pm start, at Chase River Moose Hall upstairs.  I look forward to seeing more details with a start date.   


Is this project in the Dover area in northern Nanaimo a dream or will it become a reality?



Oceanview Golf Resort and Spa has moved back onto the radar with a redeveloped web page noticed just today, by one of my followers.
Is it really back?


Recently we saw the final Community Engagement regarding this Mobility Hub project for downtown Nanaimo.  With many faces from realigning of Albert, Wallace, Commercial and Victoria Crescent to the restaging of Front Street between the Bastion and the old Original Highrise to include bicycle lanes, reduced road traffic, changes to pedestrian right of ways and new transit features.  We were also be asked our opinions regarding transit and a throwback to the original Port Lands agreement with Nanaimo Transit and the City of Nanaimo.   More on RDN Transit ABOVE.



SPONSORSHIPS?  Should we be seeing City owned parks, buildings or other features sponsored in an effort to raise money for our City?

Would you like to see Coca~cola Park instead of Piper's Lagoon?  How about the Pepsi Arena instead of Cliff McNabb?  Could we see Seaspan Park instead of Cambie Park?  Oh, wait that one has sailed already.  The recently named Cambie Park has no significance to the City other than it was the name of a bar named after a bar in Vancouver where a Mr. Cambie waa a part of their history.

Coming to our next Finance & Audit meeting next Wednesday, we see a return of Mr. Brent Baroots, Pres & CEO of the Partnership Group who will be speaking about sponsorships and how they could work in Nanaimo.  He last spoke to our council in 2014 on the same matter, at which time we did not move ahead with any renaming.  I believe that the PORT THEATRE name is up for renewal and how about that Shaw Auditorium?




Nanaimo still awaiting Fire Station #6

ANOTHER ONE!  Wednesday October 30th a house caught on fire on Burma Road, off of Lost Lake Road.

This fire once again is proof that we need that fire station built out by Pipers area of Hammond Bay.

This fire is outside the 6 minute response time from our existing fire stations.

I have been a champion behind getting a new fire hall built for quite a few years.
A new Stevenson Point / Morningside area #6 fire station is required in our city NOW!

For the reasoning of having to hire more staff, some members of our previous council have been against a new location for a much-needed fire station for TEN years.. The existing  Council needs to move forward on building this much needed station.  Over the years the location has changed from Hammond Bay & Nottingham to Hammond Bay & Morningside.

Nanaimo must ensure that the residents  of Hammond Bay get the proper level of service that they pay for. Sadly, the cost factor weighed too heavily for some members of the previous councils. This needs to change.

The City of Nanaimo benefits from the tax dollars gathered by those living beyond the Departure Bay Road - Hammond Bay Road area out to Hammond Bay - Fillinger Crescent Area but fail to give them fire service they rightly deserve.

Recently we drove along Glen Oaks Drive and were amazed at the houses up there along with the price tags attached. $450,000 plus with no view, but the worst hill climb for snowy days (yes, we only get a few but this is a dead end road, the last ones to get cleared).

"The city’s standard to respond to emergency calls is six minutes, allowing it to fight fires, limit property damage and increase the chances of survival for cardiac arrests. Trucks, however, were only able to meet that response time for 31.83 per cent of 340 incidents that happened in Hammond Bay between 2011-13." (Nanaimo News Bulletin: Aug 27, 2015)

For houses located on the top reaches of Glen Oaks drive, it is 8.2 Kms to the Uplands fire station or 7.6km to Dorman Road fire station. I do not know the timing but is it not 6 minutes.

The map above shows the areas with 6 minute response time. 

BACKGROUND: At its meeting held 2009-NOV-16, Nanaimo City Council requested a staff report on the option of delaying the planning, construction and staffing of the proposed new Fire Station No.6 (Hammond Bay at Nottingham) to service the Hammond Bay region of the City. The current plan calls for planning and design to commence in 2010 with full 24/7 staffing to be completed by 2014. The construction of this station is to be funded from borrowing authorized by an alternate approval process or a referendum. Fire Station No. 6 also includes the incremental hiring of 20 additional fire fighters over the implementation period. This station is a critical phase in improving response time within its geographical area as well as improving the overall response performance toward the six minutes, 90 percent of the time target. In addition to improved 'first due' coverage, it will also provide an additional resource for multiple unit responses providing sufficient staff and resource concentration for larger incidents throughout the City. This phase of the plan provides enough response units available to service the risks associated with a large and growing population. Costs for Station No.6 in budget years 2010 and 2011 are $150,000 which primarily are design fees. Borrowing is scheduled to take place in 2012 of $2.4 million followed by operating increases of $780,000 in 2013 and an additional $700,000 in 2014. Delaying the station for one or two years would move design and staffing costs beyond these years. 

Fire Services Plan It was moved and seconded that Council delay the design, construction, and staffing of Fire Station No. 6 by two years (2012 design, 2014 construction, 2015 commence staffing, and 2016 complete staffing). The motion carried. Opposed: Councillors Bestwick, Johnstone, and Kipp.
Present and in favour of the motion were Mayor Ruttan along with Councillors Holdom, McNabb, Pattje, Sherry and Unger.



Communication is the cornerstone of human civilization. Without communication, there is no co-operation. And without co-operation, you can't have most of the things we take for granted in our modern lives. And without communication and co-operation, you certainly can't build and run a city like Nanaimo.

Nanaimo City Hall and the council that will be elected on October 20 will need to get back to the basics of communication and co-operation.

Quite often when a resident sends a council member an email, the only response they might get back is an auto-reply stating that the council member is unavailable, if that member is away. And after the councillor returns, there is still no response. In that case, there is no communication between the resident and the council member. It leads to a lot of frustration on behalf of the residents.

I want to be a councillor who responds and engages in communication with those who take the time to contact me. It doesn't matter if it's only a couple of words, a paragraph, or a detailed message.

Recently I attended a candidate training session at the Regional District of Nanaimo. The most common word used at that session, after the word, "I," was "LISTEN."

Back when I was in Toastmasters International, one of their themes was, "Better Listening - Better Thinking - Better Speaking."

As a councillor, I pledge to LISTEN to residents, city staff, experts, and other council members. I will THINK about the message they are trying to convey. And then I will SPEAK (make my response as meaningful and clear as possible).

My Vision for Nanaimo

A top priority for me is for Nanaimo to get back to the basics of good governance.  My prime goal is to work with the new mayor and council to rebuild a solid working relationship between the City Council and City Staff.  We also need to build up trust between the City Council and the residents of Nanaimo.  There are several key areas that I especially want to work on:

City Hall
In the last few years, we have lost a lot of talented, knowledgeable and skilled employees at City Hall.  I, Bill Manners, want to create a more positive atmosphere of communication and co-operation between all staff and council.  Using the Core Services Review as a springboard to provide the best city services to residents while remaining fiscally responsible are among changes I would like to see made.

I want to improve communication between the Nanaimo City Council and residents.  I assure residents that I will actively listen to their concerns and will do my best to respond appropriately.  I wish to develop a more transparent process for City Council that is focused on making sure that residents understand the reasons why decisions have been made.  Those decisions and the criteria behind them should be held in open meetings and not only discussed during in-camera sessions. As a member of the Community Engagement Task Force, I am quite aware that some existing methods of communication do not work as well as they used to.  We need to take a look ahead and use new technologies and methods of engaging with the public.

Economic Development
There has been a distinct lack of focus on attracting new economic opportunities to Nanaimo.  Our local job market is stagnant with a lack of permanent full-time jobs paying a living wage.  Many in Nanaimo are working two or more part-time jobs to keep afloat.  Our new council must work to make Nanaimo an attractive place for new businesses. I am aware of how new technology and artificial intelligence is changing how we work and do business while eliminating many skilled and unskilled jobs.  I wish to partner with the Federal and Provincial governments plus VIU to ensure that local workers receive training, so they can continue to participate in our rapidly changing economy.

Additionally I, Bill Manners, would love to work with the new mayor, fellow councillors and city staff to improve the livability of Nanaimo to ensure that it remains a great place for residents to live, work, travel and play.

Looking towards a greener future as our population approaches 100,000, we need to increase the density of our neighbourhoods, while also improving the walkability, and cycling infrastructure throughout Nanaimo.  It's time to take another look at zoning, creating neighbourhood nodes, and improving accessibility for disabled residents.

Our public transportation infrastructure frankly has a lot of room for improvement.  Our new council needs to work closely with the Regional District of Nanaimo to make it easier for residents to get to work, school, shopping, entertainment, and to visit our wonderful parks and public spaces.  With a personal background of providing transportation for over 46 years to Nanaimo residents, I am quite aware of how transit could be to improved and have workable ideas to share with Nanaimo Regional Transit.

Public Spaces
We have some great public spaces in Nanaimo, that are well-utilized, but under-serviced.  We also have public spaces that are not well used at all, and have a lot of untapped potential.  The unification of the waterfront walkway, as well as the development of 1 Port Drive, are opportunities to improve the quality of life for Nanaimo residents.  Small improvements to our walkway can be done to enhance the livability and enjoyment of residents as well as our many visitors to Nanaimo.

Nanaimo needs to be a tourist destination, not a place that tourists pass through to go to other destinations.  Working with other council members, staff, and private investors, we can create reasons for tourists to remain in Nanaimo and spend their tourism dollars here.

Q and A with VIU Students 

2018 Q & A with VIU STUDENTS re: 2018 City of Nanaimo Election in which I ran for City Council.

1) What about your personal or professional background has prepared you for public office?

A; I have attended almost all of Nanaimo City Council and Committee of whole meetings since late 2011.

I am one of the spokespersons for the City of Nanaimo Community Engagement Task Force.  I am a director of Nanaimo Amateur Radio Association and a former interviewer for the Seniors Advocate of British Columbia. 

I have worked extensively with City Staff on many projects including the NOVOTE2017 Society of which I am one of the founders and the group that was built together with the residents of Nanaimo after seeing what information was given to them, voted 80.4% NO.  A huge success.  

I was also one of the originators of Nanaimo & District Independent Living Resource Centre, which has been around our City since 1990.

Previously, I have been a regional director for a group of 54 stores in British Columbia working on company budgets and the reorganization as well as developing and enforcing rules and regulations.


2) What would you say are your core values as they relate to being on city council?

A: I was raised to be respectful of everyone I meet.  Sometimes it has been hard, but my grandmother insisted that I keep my Manners. I have old-fashioned values that keep me in step with laws and bylaws created not just in my community, but the provincial and federal laws as well.

As a long-standing Nanaimo resident, I work well with City Staff and the Management there.  I have tried to keep working with all past and current council members regardless of their decisions.

I believe in Better Listening, Better Thinking and Better Speaking, the cornerstone of Toastmasters International.  The more we listen and then think of what residents are saying, and then council members should feel free to speak, instead of just giving their own opinion.


3) What would you see as the key issues in Nanaimo?

A: Reintroduction of the Economic Development Office in our city manned by more than one person.  We need an office that is dedicated to expanding the types of businesses we have in our town.  Nanaimo needs to bring people with jobs that pay more than what the average worker makes in our city today.  I believe that better-paying jobs are what we should be created to make it possible for the average worker to be able to afford a house here, rather than elsewhere.

The Community Engagement Task Force was set to design a way to set up better communication between the residents of Nanaimo and the Council Members as well as staff.  They have one more meeting scheduled for later this year, after the election.  I would love for a new committee to be struck according to the laws of our city, by our Mayor set on creating options without hosting meetings but just concentrating on the objective, which is my opinion is:  “How can Nanaimo residents engage with City Council so we can develop a city that is more suited for residents?”

Nanaimo also needs better Transit.  A system change is in order.  I have 48 years’ experience in Transportation around our city. I want our city to be livable and inviting to residents and visitors to see our city as a place that allows people to use Transit, Cycling or walking to get around our city or even its neighbourhoods.  I have a concept that I hope could see some acceptance after I get elected to Nanaimo Council.  I will dedicate my time to seeing a change regarding the transportation in and around Nanaimo.


4) What would be your approach to dealing with those issues?

A: My approach is to discuss ways we can get back to the basics of governing our city, and to find a way to redevelop relationships with many outside agencies which include but are not limited to BC Ferries, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Port of Nanaimo, School District 68, Nanaimo Airport (YCD), and our neighbouring communities which include Lantzville, Snawnawas, Snuneymuxw and Ladysmith.

The newly elected Nanaimo City Council and members of the Regional District of Nanaimo must work together to rebuild our Nanaimo Tourism dedicated to our Region rather than the current providers, Vancouver Island Tourism.  It is vital that local business work together to invite visitors and residents to explore our city from North to South and East to West just as our transit service must.

Bill Manners