This is a list of key initiatives accomplished by council during my first term in office, organized under my 2018 campaign areas of focus.
Restore a well-functioning city government
- Re-structured city senior management to improve efficiency and leadership.
- Re-structured committees and pioneered Governance and Priorities committee to improve dialogue on strategic issues and enhance decision making.
- Re-established community tables of collaboration including:
- The Protocol Working Group with Snuneymuwx First Nation
- The Tripartite Working Group with Snuneymuwx First Nation and Nanaimo Port Authority
- The Committee on Environment
- The Community Accessibility and Inclusivity Committee
- The Mayors Leaders Table
- The Downtown Business Improvement Association
- Tourism Nanaimo
- The Health and Housing Systems Planning Organisation
- The Nanaimo Prosperity Agency
- Provided reliable city services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Restored a positive reputation of our city government amongst our provincial and national peer municipalities.
- Created a building permit fast-track program for tenant upgrades.
- Completed and updated the city’s new official community plan. The ReImagine Nanaimo initiative saw a record level of public engagement. This process also integrated all other city planning documents into one cohesive plan to ensure a more coordinated implementation.
- Investment in sports and recreation upgrades and amenities:
- Serauxman Stadium upgrade
- Mary Davidson Bike Park development
- Secured funding for the new multiuse field at John Barsby
- Completion of the Number 1 Firehall that will serve as a primary emergency response center in the event of a major natural disaster.
- Established a process to formally recognize neighbourhood associations and created a fund to support association operations and activities.
- Secured a 20% increase in transit system service hours and established inter-regional bus connections to Ladysmith and the Nanaimo Airport.
- Increased investment in much-needed pedestrian safety upgrades and active transportation routes.
- Purchased the Five Acre Farm in Harewood to ensure that this agriculturally and historically significant land will continue to be an asset for the community.
- Expanded city parkland to connect Westwood Lake Park to Mount Benson Regional Park.
- Signed a memo of understanding with BC Housing to build over 300 units of supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.
- Enhanced the community rent supplement program.
- Created a Community Safety Officer program as part of the downtown safety plan.
- Provided funding to support the very successful Downtown Night Market organized by the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.
- Continued funding for downtown festivals and events.
Ensure a Healthy Environment
- Set in motion a plan to develop a multi-location Nanaimo River Park System
- Strengthened resourcing and updated the Regional District Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Program to better protect, manage and restore watershed ecosystems and aquifers and better prepare for climate change impacts.
- Established Environmental Protection and Climate action as a central pillar of the city of Nanaimo’s Official Community Plan and committed to achieving international climate targets through transportation, building and waste management policies.
- Accelerated adoption of step code for building energy efficiency and developing a policy for prioritizing low-carbon energy systems in new builds.
- Established a New Environmental Sustainability Section in the Development services department and created a position for a Manager of Environmental Sustainability.
- Adopted two important bylaws to support mandatory source separation of recyclables and organic materials from the waste stream for all waste generators in the city. These bylaws are currently awaiting provincial approval.
- Approved and committed a budget for a region-wide hazardous materials drop-off program.
- Strengthened the Watercourse Development Approval process to ensure a net gain of habitat when developing in watercourse setbacks and to ensure wildlife habitat and hydrological impacts are mitigated when considering development.
- Set in motion the development of a City of Nanaimo Circular Economy Strategy.
- Lobbied the provincial government through UBCM to develop a Circular Economy Strategy and a year later they announced they are embarking on a Circular economy strategy.
- Created a Community Watercourse Restoration grant stream.
- Created a Regional District Corporate Carbon Neutral 2032 plan to eliminate emissions from Facilities, Services, Fleet and mobile services.
- Participated in the steering committee that created an RDN Climate Action Plan that will: ensure water supply resiliency through a Natural Asset Management Plan; ensure RDN policies support climate-appropriate development; and will increase support for home energy adaptation/retrofits.
- Participated in the steering committee that developed Regional District Parks and Trails Plan that increased emphasis on park acquisitions for conservation purposes.
- Established a Sustainable procurement program to ensure that the millions of purchases made by the municipality and regional district stay more local and are environmentally responsible
Grow a Strong and Diverse Local Economy
- Re-established a community economic development function through the creation of the Nanaimo Prosperity Agency
- Created a building permit fast-track program for tenant improvements
- Opened up much-needed new Industrial land in the updated Re-imaging Nanaimo Official Community Plan
- Completed a financing plan for the RDN portion of the Nanaimo Hospital expansion, including a new patient tower, cancer treatment facilities and improved cardiac services. Also established a detailed provincial advocacy strategy to secure the provincial portion of the hospital upgrades.
- Continued funding for Arts and Culture and completed upgrades to facilities such as the OV Theater.
- Made strategic purchase of Jean Burns site to move forward the redevelopment of this important downtown corner to improve commerce in downtown
- Created a downtown redevelopment strategy to improve access and economic activity in the downtown core.