Nanaimo election has 4 mayoral, 29 councillor candidates step forward

Nanaimo election has 4 mayoral, 29 councillor candidates step forward
Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News

The mayoral and councillor race in Nanaimo has four people seeking the role of mayor, and 29 for councillor.

Nanaimo’s incumbent mayor and seven of eight councillors are seeking re-election in the city.

In addition to voting for mayor and council, Nanaimo voters will be voting for school trustees for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School Board.

Advance voting will take place on Oct. 5 and 12 at Beban Park Social Centre from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is also the option to vote by mail.

General voting day on Oct. 15, the following voting locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Beban Park Social Centre
  • Chase River Elementary School
  • City of Nanaimo Service and Resource Centre
  • Dover Bay Secondary School
  • Georgia Avenue Elementary School
  • Nanaimo District Secondary School
  • Protection Island Fire Hall
  • Randerson Ridge Elementary School
  • Salvation Army Church
  • Uplands Park Elementary School
  • Wellington Secondary School
  • Woodlands Secondary School

In 2018, 27,475 people voted in the election for a voter turnout of 40.4 per cent.


Tasha Brown

Brown is a school teacher and says her life and varied work experiences have enabled her to become a confident individual who will speak the truth and work effectively and efficiently.

If elected, her priorities are bring back community after the COVID restrictions, have a boots on the ground approach, address safety and social issues, pressure the justice and health care systems for financial support, take an active and supporting role in bringing change while the city waits for finances or changes from systems. She would also like to freeze property tax increases for at least one year, do a full review on all expense accounts for city employees, and review high cost city beautification projects.

Brown was previously in the news because her daughter, Kaydance, was abducted and found in Jersey.

Her Facebook page can be found here.

Brunie Brunie

Brunie is an independent elder who hopes to steer Nanaimo to a greener future. She sold real estate for many years and advocates for non-profit housing as an essential in society.

If elected, her priorities are food security, rooftop gardens and community space on every housing development, green lane from the ferry to downtown, a green tourist destination, and set up a campsite for homeless citizens on empty land with water and cooking facilities.

In 2018, Brunie unsuccessfully ran for a seat on council, receiving 1,774 votes.

Brunie’s website can be found here.

Leonard Krog

Krog previously served as the MLA for Nanaimo, then resigned when he was elected the mayor of Nanaimo in 2018. He was first elected to the provincial legislature in 1991. He was born in Nanaimo and raised in Coombs. He has served on a number of organizations including the Mid-Island Consumer Services Co-operative. Krog has been a practicing lawyer in Nanaimo since 1980.

If re-elected, his priorities are city infrastructure, keeping commitments, managing growth, and addictions and mental health.

In 2018, Krog was elected as mayor with 20,040 votes.

Krog’s website can be found here.

Agnes Provost

Provost is on the board of directors for Protection Island Neighbourhood Association and she lives on Protection Island. She says she has been a caring person since she was young. She has an invisible disability and is empathetic to the needs of the city.

If elected, her priorities are safety and wellness, and ensuring she takes accountability and is transparent in her actions.

Provost’s Facebook page can be found here.


There are eight councillor positions to be elected.

Jeff Annesley

Annesley was born and raised in Nanaimo and is now raising a family in the city. He graduated from Vancouver Island University with a bachelor of arts in writing and publishing.

If elected, his priorities are crime, taxes, and housing.

Annesley’s Facebook page can be found here.

Sheryl Armstrong

Armstrong has served two terms on Nanaimo council and is retired after a 35 years as an RCMP officer. She was born and raised in Saskatchewan, but lived in different parts of B.C., including two postings in Nanaimo, during her carrer in the RCMP. She was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee medal for community service as well as the Commanding Officer’s commendation for my work with the First Nations communities she served.

If re-elected, she plans to continue to advocate for public safety to be included as a priority in the Official Community Plan and strategic plan, request more Crown counsels to be assigned in Nanaimo, work with experts to develop policies to attract businesses to the city, and expand the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

In 2018, Armstrong received the second most votes with 15,817.

Armstrong’s Facebook page can be found here.

Ken Bennett

Bennett is a labour activist who has lived in Nanaimo for 25 years. He has worked as a care aide in a group home for over 15 years. Before that he worked with youth in care. He held a position on the provincial executive of the Hospital Employees’ Union as a trustee and senior trustee for several years.

If elected, his top three areas to address will be accessibility for people with mobility concerns, homelessness and mental illness, and the environment.

Bennett’s Facebook page can be found here.

Don Bonner

Bonner is a member of the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation part of the Bear Clan of the Algonquin Nation. He is a business owner with NISA Custom Internet Solutions for 27 years. He has a history in Nanaimo working with non-profits and sitting on many boards including co-chairing the Health and Housing Task Force and co-chairing the Environment committee.

If re-elected, his priorities are actioning a new city plan, public safety and social disorder, the environment, city committees, housing needs including affordability and shelter for the homeless, and arts, culture and recreation.

In 2018, Bonner received the sixth most votes with 9,674.

Bonner’s website can be found here.

Tyler Brown

Brown was born and raised in Nanaimo and is now raising two young children in the city. He has a background in urban planning, policy development, and intergovernmental relations. He was first elected to Nanaimo council in 2018 and was elected chair of the Regional District of Nanaimo in 2020 and 2021.

If elected, his priorities are affordability in housing and transportation; investing in health through health care improvements, health care advocacy, addressing needs of unsheltered citizens, and food and nutrition security; creating a fulfilling and inclusive city through culture and recreation, parks and trails, accessibility, urgan design and public space programming, and truth and reconciliation; and sustainability.

In 2018, Brown received the fourth most votes with 14,935.

Brown’s website can be found here.

Paul Chapman

Chapman has lived in the Old City Quarter of Nanaimo for 15 years since moving here from the east coast. He has a blended and extended family of three daughters, two son-in-laws, and three grandchildren. He has worked in various roles with Nanaimo and Area Land Trust for 14 years, and now serves as the executive director.

If elected, he hopes to address climate change, affordability, homelessness and the related healthcare issues, and safety concerns.

Chapman’s website can be found here.

Hilary Eastmure

Eastmure has lived in Nanaimo since 2013 after moving from Elora, Ontario to work as a radio reporter for 91.7 Coast FM. She has covered a range of topics from council meetings to community events. She is currently a caseworker for the MP’s office. She has previously worked for Literacy Central Vancouver Island as the bookstore manager, has been involved in the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival, and was the media rider in Tour de Rock 2015.

If elected, her top three priorities are livability, accessibility, and sustainability. Livability includes housing affordability, access to health care, recreation, and community safety. Accessibility includes prioritizing pedestrian improvements, expanding transit services, making buses free for students and low-income residents, safe cycling routes, and ensuring city facilities and parks are accessible for those with mobility challenges. Sustainability includes protecting the watershed, enhancing the urban forest, local food security, and making decisions that reflect the Climate Emergency.

Eastmure’s website can be found here.

Ben Geselbracht

Geselbracht is a first-term councillor seeking re-election. He has a background in conservation biology, business and social work. He has worked as a registered clinical counsellor in the prison system and is currently the founding manager of a worker-owned tree service co-op.

If re-elected, he has four main priorities. Create more affordable housing, reduce homelessness and social disorder, move towards climate action and environmental protection, and support a strong local economy through initiatives like reducing building permit times and advancing the Nanaimo Regional Hospital upgrades.

In 2018, Geselbracht received the third most votes with 15,136.

Geselbracht’s website can be found here.

Nick Greer

Greer is a downtown Nanaimo business owner, solicitor, chartered mediator, arbitrator, and former chair of Destination-Nanaimo.

If elected, Greer would like to focus less on, what he calls, “‘woke’ vanity issues” and more on core city business. This includes keeping the city safe, roads working, and taxes and the cost of living low.

Greer’s website can be found here.

Derek Hanna

Hanna has worked in engineering for the pulp and paper industry for over 30 years.

Hanna does not have a platform listed publicly.

On his campaign Twitter page, he makes posts falsely claiming the COVID vaccine is a bio-weapon and that Ivermectin is a beneficial early treatment against the virus. Both of these claims have been repeatedly disproven by health officials.

Hanna’s website can be found here.

Mike Hartlaub

Hartlaub moved to Nanaimo five years ago from Victoria. He is a NACE peer level coating inspector.

If elected, he says he has been listening to the public about priorities. These include crime, homelessness issues, and tax burden.

Hartlaub’s website can be found here.

Erin Hemmens

Hemmens is seeking her second term on council. She has spent nearly 20 years in the community health field. She manages a project which will improve access to pediatric speciality services in Nanaimo, has worked as a coroner and was an early contributor to the research and funding which launched the John Barsby Wellness Centre.

If re-elected, her priorities include pursuing bold actions outlined in the city plan, provide support to the Nanaimo Prosperity Corporation and the Systems Planning Organization, build strong neighbourhoods, enhance and sustaining an attractive downtown, and make arts and culture key components of the city’s brand.

In 2018, Hemmens received the most votes with 15,937.

Hemmens’ website can be found here.

Gary Korpan

Korpan has lived in Nanaimo since 1967. He has a degree in political science, a degree in law with an emphasis in constitutional law, post-graduate courses in municipal government, and has ran a law practice for over 20 years. He was formerly a Nanaimo councillor and mayor, serving as the mayor between 1993-2008.

If elected, his priorities will be strict enforcement of bylaws, removing “squatters” from public parks and city property, encourage police to enforce public safety laws, encourage Crown prosecution of chronic lawbreakers, encourage the courts to emphasize public safety and deterrence in sentencing, encourage senior governments to include community service penalities to all breaches of laws, and good governance.

In 2018, Korpan unsuccessfully ran for council, receiving 5,451 votes.

Korpan’s Facebook page can be found here.

Jay Krishan

Krishan has lived in Nanaimo for over a decade and has years of experience in the private sector. He is the director of the Pacific Society for the Advancement of Employment Equity, and serves on the board of directors of the BC Civil Liberties Association.

If elected his long-term priorities are to work towards changing Nanaimo’s hiring process to produce a representative workforce; look to attract new business concepts and services to the city; and advance art, culture, and architecture with simultaneous mind to environmental sustainability principles, inter-modal transportation, and public commute options.

Short-term priorities will be community safety, supporting small businesses through incentives, as well as community engagement to better understand the issues.

Shirley Lambrecht

Lambrecht first moved to Nanaimo in 2009. She was raised in a farming family where she learned to adapt to unpredictable weather and fluctuating commodity markets. She worked in the telecommunications industry for almost 30 years doing research, business analysis, forecasting, planning, and network management. She has provided consulting in the health and wellness field. She has been an active volunteer on a number of organizations.

If elected, she has four main priorities: homelessness and the intersections of mental health and wellness, addictions, violence and public safety; the climate emergency; economic prosperity; and honouring and celebrating culture and diversity.

Lambrecht’s Facebook page can be found here.

Peter Lee

Lee has lived in Nanaimo for 13 years and recently graduated from the University of Toronto with an honours bachelor of arts in public policy. He is a volunteer tutor with VIU and a Rotarian.

If elected, his priorities are public safety, providing more affordable housing, sustainable development, and collaborating for good governance.

Lee’s website can be found here.

Zeni Maartman

Maartman has been a resident of Nanaimo since 1989. She was a Chartered Insurance Professional and recently retired from BCAA management team. She was previously a school trustee for SD 68, on the board with Community Futures, past president of Tourism Nanaimo along with numerous community organizations.

If elected, her priorities include affordable housing with rent geared to income, safety and security, and continual advocation with senior governments to address social disorder. She also would like to implement an action plan targets and measurements that is connected to the city’s five goals for a green, connected, healthy, empowered and prosperous city. Revitalizing the downtown, food security, protection of public water and green spaces are other priorities.

In 2018, Maartman received the eighth most votes with 8,558.

Maartman’s website can be found here.

Alan MacDonald

MacDonald is the associate executive director at Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services. He operates a small consulting business and is involved with various community sports organizations. He is a director of KidSport, volunteers with Nanaimo Minor Hockey, and is the founder and president of Salish Storm Hockey.

If elected, his priorities include creating safe streets through targeted crime reduction, recreate the zoning and building permits process to address housing, and economic prosperity and livability.

MacDonald’s website can be found here.

Paul Manly

Manly is the executive director of the Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter, former Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, a filmmaker, small business owner and community advocate.

If elected, his priorities are to work with senior levels of government on solutions to affordable housing, homelessness and community safety issues. He also hopes to strengthen the local economy, community resilience and livability; ensure small and medium enterprises can thrive; increase density and manage growth; upgrade critical health care infrastructure; ensure robust emergency preparedness; encourage more local food production; and create more protected natural areas, particularly around the Nanaimo River.

Manly was formerly the MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, sitting as the second Green representative elected to Canadian Parliament. In 2021, he came in third place in the riding receiving 17,640 votes.

Manly’s website can be found here.

Janice Perrino

Perrino has 12 years experience as councillor and mayor of Summerland and on the regional district as a director. She also served as chair of the Regional Hospital District. She is passionate about Nanaimo, having spent six years with the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation as the CEO.

If elected, her priorities include advocating to improve health care services, revitalizing downtown, and reaching out for grants to extend the sea wall walk way to the ferry.

Perrino’s website can be found here.

Frank Pluta

Pluta has lived in Nanaimo since 2005. He has a bachelor of science in accounting and computer science. Before moving to Nanaimo, he served as the treasurer of a chamber of commerce and was a member of a team that established the University of Northern BC. He previously served as a councillor of McBride and was regional director for the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George. Since living in Nanaimo he has been involved with a number of groups including the Chamber Toastmasters team, Business Networking International, and the Rotary.

If elected, his priorities will be to reduce crime and provide safety in the community; have the freedom of choice and information; lobby the federal and provincial governments for homelessness and housing solutions; freeze or slow growth of property taxes for homeowners and businesses; getting “real” feedback from the public on council choices; use common sense and sensibility on council motions; revisit the OCP and question why the OCP was not put to a referendum; question if the city should be a “donut” economy as outlined in the OCP; question if residents want to be part of Rogers’ 5G rollout; and tap into the senior “brain trust.”

Pluta’s website can be found here.

Peter Poole

CHEK News was unable to find a bio for Poole and he did not respond to a request for one. This story will be updated if a bio is received.

On his Facebook page, he lists his priorities as creating an accessible, safe and useable space; addressing issues that require immediate attention while also thinking about long-term resilience; and representing citizen’s needs.

Poole’s Facebook page can be found here.

Michael Ribicic

Ribicic teaches in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district and has a bachelors with majors in political science and history from Vancouver Island University and a bachelor of education. He was born and raised in Nanaimo and has contributed to various boards and organizations including the City of Nanaimo, the Nanaimo Art Gallery, Rotary, and Vancouver Island University.

If elected, his priorities are to work towards addressing social disorder and homelessness; advocate for affordable housing; promote more public transportation; offer fiscally responsible leadership; support inclusivity and diversity; create a way forward to retain youth and young talent in the community.

In 2018, Ribicic unsuccessfully ran for council, receiving 3,690 votes.

Ribicic’s website can be found here.

Norm Smith

Smith is a retired RCMP Unit Commander with 31 years of service, 25 of which were done in Nanaimo.

If elected, his three main priorities are addressing public safety, “the homeless issue,” and curbing out of control spending by the current council.

In 2018, Smith unsuccessfully ran for council, receiving 5,824 votes.

Smith’s Facebook page can be found here.

Robb Squire

Squire is a regional sales account executive who works with all levels of retailers to grow their businesses. He is a casting assistant for Hallmark, and has been in Chesapeake Shores and many movies of the week. He moved to Nanaimo in 1986 when his dad and family was transferred with the RCMP. He is a member of the Nanaimo Newcastle Community Association and member of the Nanaimo Skating Club.

If elected, his priorities are public safety, homelessness, mental health and addictions, economic development, and transparency.

Viraat Thammanna

Thammanna has a bachelors of commerce and post-bachelors of business operation management. He has worked as a corporate executive management professional and contributed to the growth of companies for 14 years. He also served in the Canadian Armed Forces.

If elected, his priorities are to work with the provincial government to solve addictions and mental health issues, unify all levels of government to implement affordable housing, pressure the Ministry of Health to resolve the doctor shortage, collaborate with seniors to improve comfort and quality of life, identify child and youth needs, support local farmers, create strategies for infrastructure and economical developments, support local businesses, include everyone in discussion and planning, enhance consciousness of mental and physical health, add housing for special needs, focus on public safety and safe communities, responsible spending and a well-balanced budget, explore ways to encourage social activities downtown, collaborate for the wellness of working class citizens and taxpayers, and work towards reliability, accountability, transparency, and efficiency.

In 2018, Thammanna unsuccessfully ran for council, receiving 1,760 votes.

Thammanna’s website can be found here.

Ian Thorpe

Thorpe is a third-generation Nanaimoite who was a school teacher and administrator for 35 years. He has served on many local organizations. After retiring, he has served on the city’s Parks, Recreation, and Culture Committee. He is now the longest-serving incumbent councillor, having served two terms since first being elected in 2014.

If elected, his priorities are improving community safety and decreasing social disorder, holding the line on council spending and tax increases, and fostering more affordable housing for young families, seniors and workers. He would also like to advocate to the provincial government for supportive housing and complex care facilities for those with mental health or addictions problems and for improvements to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

In 2018, Thorpe received the seventh most votes with 8,993.

Thorpe’s website can be found here.

Corey Trinkwon

Trinkwon lives in the Uplands area with is wife and children. He graduated from NDSS and currently works as an electrician for Island Health. He was an on-call firefighter for five years and has coached kids sports.

If elected, he hopes to improve programs and services to better the lives of the Nanaimo community.

Trinkwon’s Facebook page can be found here.

David Wang

Wang does not have a bio publicly available and did not respond to a request for one. This story will be updated if one is received.

If elected, his platform includes saying no to “progressive gender ideology,” no to gender neutral bathrooms, and no to drag queen story hour; creating a smartphone app; choosing “freedom” in terms of COVID health restrictions; reconsidering saying Nanaimo is unceded land of the Snunymeux [sic] First Nation or renaming places or structures in traditional Snunymeux [sic] names; addressing homelessness through “tough love” or finding solutions for homeless people who need help; make Nanaimo a city of law and order; increase transit service; rethink the OCP; rethink spending for arts and culture; address traffic concerns; and rethink hiring policies.

Wang’s website can be found here.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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