Former Green Party of Canada MP Paul Manly has been elected as one of three new faces on Nanaimo city council and Mayor Leonard Krog handily shot to first place in the mayor’s race, as he did in 2018.
Manly topped the polls for councillor with 10,366 votes. Newcomers Janice Perrino, former mayor of Summerland, with 7,131 votes, and Hilary Eastmure, a former journalist, with 5,650 votes, were also elected.
Incumbent councillors Don Bonner and Zeni Maartman failed to hold on to their seats. Coun. Jim Turley did not run for re-election.
Manly won a seat in the House of Commons for the Green party in a May 2019 byelection for Nanaimo-Ladysmith and held onto it in the federal election six months later.
But Manly lost to the NDP, placing third, in last year’s federal election.
He is the executive director of the Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter and a filmmaker.
He advocated for streamlining the permit approval process to help non-profit organizations develop more social housing and called for infrastructure improvements at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
Manly said Saturday that council’s “work is cut out for us.”
The city has a lot of work to do with senior governments to obtain funding for affordable and supportive housing, as well as focusing on issues involving addiction, mental health and criminality, he said.
“I’m ready to work really hard for the betterment of Nanaimo,” he said.
“We need to be better prepared for all those things that climate change is bringing.”
Krog pulled in 12,390 votes, or 66.4 per cent of ballots cast. Tasha Brown placed second with 4,207.
Most Nanaimo residents “knew that on those issues that were of concern to them, this council and certainly me, were on their side,” he said, citing community concerns on mental health, addictions, trauma and brain injury.
“They knew where I stood after four year, they know I’ve advocated for them and they know I care as much about it as they do.”
Council established good governance in the past four years, he said.
The existing council has largely been returned and with the newcomers it will be a “good group. I expect we will be able to continue to make progress.”