The vote for mayor of Nanaimo in the Oct. 20 municipal election is getting attention across B.C. because its outcome could trigger a provincial by-election at a time when there’s a precarious balance of power in the legislature.
NDP MLA Leonard Krog will give up his seat in the house if he wins the mayor’s job.
He’s confident that Nanaimo is a safe NDP seat, saying he would not have run for mayor if he thought the party would lose. After all, he pulled in 47 per cent of the vote in 2017, handily surpassing rivals.
But numbers are tight in the legislature, with the NDP at 41 seats, the Green Party with three, the Liberals with 42, and one Independent in Speaker Darryl Plecas. A provincial byelection would be a nail-biter, no matter how confident Krog is.
Krog, 65, a lawyer, announced his run for Nanaimo mayor at a high-powered and well-organized event in the Coast Bastion Inn. The packed room drew about 300 backers from a cross-section of the city, from labour to three former mayors to an enthusiastic business community.
Businessman Tony Harris, who was among those who urged Krog to run, introduced the candidate at the event. Harris, a sixth-generation Nanaimo resident, is involved in local companies including Harris Mazda, Harris Auto Group, Harris Kia, and he develops residential and commercial properties.
Supporters weary of four long years of infighting and factions at city hall see Krog as the person who can unite the community.
Krog said he has an advantage but is taking nothing for granted. “I’m starting with a huge base of support because people know me.”
He’s up against businessman Don Hubbard, 72, who also has a high profile in the city of 90,000. Hubbard was named Nanaimo’s Citizen of the Year in 2007 and received a B.C. Achievement award for public service in 2016.
Hubbard is president of Hubbard Consulting Ltd., chairman of Atlas Engineered Products Ltd., and former chairman of the board of directors for Island Health.
He helped to raise money for Nanaimo Haven Society, which runs a transition house, and served as chairman of the Malaspina University College board.
Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay is not running again.
Whoever wins the mayor’s job inherits a city where costs have been accumulating for such things as a failed events centre referendum.
Then there were consultants’ fees to try to sort out dysfunction at city hall, and lawsuits against the city filed in the Supreme …read more
Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics