Bill Manners

Community Activist

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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?




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