Economic development is essential for Nanaimo's future growth. To that end, I believe it is Council's responsibility to ensure there is a decisive and broad business plan in place tomaximize Nanaimo’s prosperity. Together, with our business, government and community stake holders partners, we can work to promote and foster business and economic growth and promote tourism. Further, we must examine how business is done in the City, what is working and what is not. The cost of economic development should not be achieved at the cost of the tax payer.
Mental Health Strategy
A Mental Health Strategy is critical for Nanaimo. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of hours spent by emergency services personnel such as police, fire, and ambulance dealing with people who have a mental illness. Our outreach workers do not have enough time in the day to deal with all those who need help. We need to form a working group composed of council members, emergency service personnel, frontline workers, and medical professionals to develop a strategy for Nanaimo.
The community voice needs to be heard. There are many ways it can be done. One way is to have representation from the neighbourhood associations meet with council members quarterly or as required. Council members need to be engaged with the community and attend as many community events as possible in order to hear from our citizens. When delegations come to council, an appropriate time allotment is needed so their voices can be heard.
City Council needs to spend taxpayers dollars wisely. We must first look at our infrastructure needs: what is required to be built and what needs to be replaced. This must be done prior to addressing our wish list. The wish list needs to come from the Community and not from Council. I ask myself how much did it cost when 23 senior staff members left the City? Why did this happen and could it have been prevented?