Answers on South End Votes

The Nanaimo political blog South End Votes has posted a series of answers to questions posed to the candidates running for mayor and city council in the November 15, 2008, civic election. The first question is what the council candidates think about changes in the South End. Bill Holdom sounds sincere when he says, “it seems to me that the South End is on its way to becoming one of the city's most interesting and attractive neighbourhoods – one with a strong sense of its identity, its past, and its future – and as a city councillor, I will certainly support your efforts.” Ron Bolin adds, “I will support all reasonable measures to encourage redevelopment and densification in our existing urban neighbourhoods rather than distant development on the city's edge.”

Question two asks what council candidates think about transforming Nicol Street. Gordon Fuller comments, “As I live on the corner of Nicol and Needham I am aware of just how busy it is and the need for some sort of traffic calming measures.” Bill Forbes says, “As a gateway corridor to downtown I would recommend that the city study the prospect of making Nicol Street through Terminal Avenue from Southgate to beyond Brooks Landing more pedestrian and bicycle friendly emphasizing vehicle calming to reduce speeds and make the core of our city more accessible to visitors and residents alike.”

Question three asks what council candidates think about homelessness and affordable housing. Angela Negrin responds, “I support co-op housing for university students in order to free up the low income housing currently available.” Simon Schachner says, “The first initiative I would support is aggressive lobbying of the provincial and federal governments to make access to affordable housing a priority in this country. The next initiative would be to adopt “Smart Growth” principles of affordable housing which is primarily about providing a variety of housing options and setting “inclusionary zoning” (a required percentage of affordable housing units in new developments). The third initiative would be to adequately support service providers that are often essential to the success of people new to permanent housing.”

Finanally, question four was what the council candidates think about a Multiplex. Fred Patje says “the wharf lands in the South End are Nanaimo's “last urban frontier” and I do not want to see a Multiplex there! That land is far too valuable for an operation which would sit empty most of the time, bring too many cars into the down-town core with all the negatives that come with it. That land should be used to create a healthy mix of low, middle and higher end housing, something which would benefit the maximum number of residents and help to revitalize in a responsible manner.“ Angela Negrin supports a multiplex “on the university grounds. We can build access to the parkway, and build a parkade with a transit exchange. I would like to see it as a mixed private/public enterprise and build it on the old NDSS site.” Most candidates oppose having taxpayer money used to build a Multiplex. Bill Holdom: “Any local government investment in a Multiplex would have to be approved by referendum, in my view.”

Go to South End Votes to read full answers from all candidates.

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