Latest News & Events
July 18, 2017
Sheryl Armstrong sworn in as Nanaimo City Councillor
Distributed July 18, 2017 4:00 PM
Sheryl Armstrong sworn in as Nanaimo City Councillor
Nanaimo's new City Councillor, Sheryl Armstrong, was officially sworn in today during a ceremony held at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Councillor Armstrong was the successful candidate during the recent July 8th by-election.
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- Prior to winning her seat on Council, Councillor Armstrong served 35 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. She is currently an active member of several community groups including chairperson for the Dufferin Place Family Council, secretary for the Vancouver Island Family Council and volunteer at the Kids for Kids program at Georgia Avenue School.
- Armstrong will attend her first open Council meeting on July 24.
"On behalf of all of Council, I wish to welcome Councillor Armstrong to the 119th Council of the City of Nanaimo. While getting up to speed is a monumental task, Councillor Armstrong has already shown her eagerness to learn, search information where necessary, and engage the community. I look forward, as does all of Council, to making this transition time as comfortable for her as possible and wish her the best in this very new and different spectrum of public service."
City of Nanaimo
"I look forward to the new challenges I will be facing as a City Councillor and will work hard to fulfill the mandate given to me by the citizens of Nanaimo. I wish to thank everyone who supported me."
City of Nanaimo
- With a total of 3611 votes captured, Armstrong was the successful frontrunner to fill the vacant seat on City Council.
- A total of 7390 valid votes were cast.
July 14, 2017
Mental Health Festival General Meeting
I will be attending this forum and will post an update after the meeting. I hope there will be a great turnout. This is an issue which affects us all whether directly or indirectly. I look forward to the conversation and thoughts people will be sharing. Please consider attending if you have time.
Event Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 7:00pm-9:00pm at 201 Albert Street. For more information on the Mental Health Festival General Meeting please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/152142252014498/
July 8, 2017
Nanaimo News Now Article
Sheryl Armstrong wins Nanaimo byelection in landslide
NANAIMO - The polls have closed and Sheryl Armstrong is Nanaimo's latest councillor.
She defeated 12 other candidates and won with more than 3,600 votes.
Armstrong was thousands of votes ahead of the pack, with runner up Sacia Burton coming in at slightly more than 850.
The retired RCMP officer, after 35 years on the job in Nanaimo and across B.C., told NanaimoNewsNOW she'll use her RCMP training as a mediator to guide her actions on council.
"On the force, I always treated everyone with respect, which can be hard to do. I'll bring that same respect (to City Council). I'm not going to get into a battle where you have to have the last word."
Despite the well-documented fracturing of Nanaimo's City Council, Armstrong said she doesn't anticpate many issues during her time as a councillor.
If her first half-term goes well, she said she'll run again in the 2018 municipal election.
Mayor Bill McKay told Armstrong she should make sure she votes independently and does her homework, which Armstrong guaranteed she would.
"Armstrong was strong all through the campaign, she's done her homework and she's going to bring a strong female voice to council," McKay told NanaimoNewsNOW. He said her training and history as an RCMP officer will help her in separating the issues from the personalities on council. "We're seeing too much of that in B.C. today."
Though he was pleased to have another woman on council, McKay said he hopes for a day where the nine person council is as close to gender equal as possible.
He also congratulated all other candidates who fought for one spot over recent weeks. "They all appeared to be up to the challenge, they put their thoughts out in the community and I appreciate that."
Nearly 7,400 votes were cast.
All results are preliminary until confirmed by chief electoral officer Sheila Gurrie.
Note to readers: This story has been updated with quotes from Armstrong and McKay.
June 29, 2017
Nanaimo News Bulletin Article
Candidates see economic opportunity
Byelection 2017: council hopefuls discuss economic development
Tamara Cunningham / Thu Jun 29th, 2017 6:20am / Local News-Online Article Link
Nanaimo will build a vision for economic development, but byelection candidates have a few ideas of their own.
A new city councillor will take a seat at the council table this summer at a time when the city is putting together its new economic development office.
City council made the decision to shutter the arms-length Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation last year and will replace it with a committee that will help create a new economic development strategy. While the city determines its direction for economic development, council will decide how to resource its new in-house office. Amrit Manhas, economic development officer, told the News Bulletin she’s working on a business case for three to four staff positions and will ask for a higher level of service for the 2018-2022 financial plan.
Sheryl Armstrong, byelection candidate, has concerns about how NEDC was disbanded, saying that the rationale behind it was never really heard. It did some very good things and had “excellent” board members, said Armstrong, and if there was an issue with the corporation, she wants to know what was done to work with the board to fix it.
The city has to have an economic development corporation, she said, and she suggests going back to the model but having a city councillor and city planner on the board.
Armstrong sees proper governance spurring economic development in the short term.
“When you have a choice to bring your business, where do you want to bring your business to? A community that people think is running very well or one that all your people are saying is dysfunctional, which is what you read,” she said.
Candidate Jim Mercier does not think enough is being done around economic development. His concern is when economic development is internalized in the city, there’s not the experience, diversity or the contacts to adequately do it and that it requires a partnership.
“Realistically what we need to do is let the private sector lead in economic development,” he said. “I mean, that’s where your true experience is just by the nature of the beast.”
One challenge the city often has, he said, is there’s no power in the word ‘yes’ but there is a lot of power in the word ‘no.’ He said there needs to be a change to a ‘yes’ philosophy, a need to fast-track partnership and focus on putting economic development back in the game.
In the short-term, he said he’d like to see a lot of focus on the downtown core, Terminal Avenue to Nicol Street and the Departure Bay walkway built out. He said he has a plan to get 100-per cent engagement among Cilaire property owners, though he isn’t prepared to share it yet.
Al Thompson, candidate, also doesn’t think the city is doing near enough to create development because it’s not creating jobs. People work, they get paid, they spend more money and everybody in the town does better, he said.
He’d like to see the city recycle and burn its garbage, which he said will create hundreds of jobs. He said the plant could also create steam so Nanaimo could make electricity and it could also be used to heat greenhouses to grow our own food.
“It’s a Brunie Brunie thing on this one,” he said, referring to another candidates’ idea. “We can have massive greenhouses all powered from this steam from burning our garbage.
“We have to create employment. Maybe we should have more grow shows like Tilray.”
The role the city could play in economic development is to lead by putting people to work, he said, suggesting hiring more garbagemen and road maintenance crews.
Brunie Brunie said the best thing for the local economy that can be done right now is to grow food. The city owns a lot of property, she said, and can call for investors. All the technology is there to do “really high-tech, super greenhouses,” she said, adding it would create a lot of jobs.
“We’ll have better food, cheaper,” she said. “When you think of the whole civilization that imports their food, off Island when they can grow it right here, it’s just not a very smart move.”
She also talked about increasing jobs, taking the cars out of one area downtown where people can come from the waterfront to the Old City Quarter with places to sit, things can be grown, there can be a lot more little vendors. It would be a thriving downtown tourists can really enjoy, she said.
“It’ll be a really happy place that will increase the whole economic development in the downtown and tie Nanaimo together in a happy public downtown space.”
This is the third in a three-part series on political issues in the community and views of byelection candidates. For previous articles, visit www.nanaimobulletin.com/tag/byelection2017.
June 28, 2017
CHLY 101.7 FM RADIO - Nanaimo By-Election Candidate Interviews--Sheryl Armstrong
A discussion with 2017 by-election candidate Sheryl Armstrong about her platform and viewpoints on many subjects