Cameron Wigmore, Green Party Member: Decision to Run for Nanaimo City Council

June 12, 2008

Decision to Run for Nanaimo City Council

(this is a copy of a letter to the editor I recently sent to my local papers)

It was inspiring to learn that NALT (Nanaimo and Area Land Trust) has made a call for council candidates to address sustainability and environmental issues. After speaking with a number of community members, and with their encouragement and support, I have decided to run for city council.


A green development option would be to invest in creating a complete picture for Nanaimo communities, reducing the need for us to go across the city for work or shopping. Devoting lanes to busses and cyclists instead of expanding roads is an effective way to reduce congestion and encourage greener forms of transportation. It’s also less expensive and more sustainable than adding evermore lanes to our roads. I understand that our transit system is considering doubling service within the next decade, but I don’t think we should have to wait that long. The cost savings are considerable for individuals using transit instead of driving, and that money can be spent in our communities rather than pouring it into our gas tanks. This is a case of “build it and they will come”, and I know many people who would commute by bus if routes would run more frequently.


Efficiency and conservation are two of the most powerful tools in our efforts to run a city sustainably. We can strengthen our economy by conserving our ecology. Over the long term these efforts can reduce water, energy and transportation development costs significantly. Experience has shown me that to achieve ecological sustainability and well-being in our community we need to work with local businesses. As a member of city council I would be consulting the residents, community groups and business owners of Nanaimo frequently, rather than paying costly consulting firms to make decisions. I define a fiscally responsible city council as one that keeps a close eye on its budget so it doesn’t have to resort to raising property taxes as a result of overspending. Other local concerns I'm aware of include drug and homelessness problems and development strategies.


Having run for a federal political party, and having served on the national council for that federal party, I know that I have the experience and insight to get things done in our city. I recently attended a Nanaimo city council meeting and realized a strong desire to get directly involved at a local level. Knowing that groups like NALT are encouraging participation in our local political scene gives me hope that we can keep Nanaimo on a sustainable path.


Sincerely,

Cameron Wigmore



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UPDATE! (August '08)

I'm sad to announce that I will not be running for municipal council in the fall.

In late June I suffered a herniated disc in my lower back and had to be taken by ambulance to Victoria for emergency surgery. It'll be a few more months before I'm back up to full speed, but it does seem like I'm on the path of full recovery.

What this means to my campaign is that I've lost a lot of momentum that I would have been building over the summer. Something I learned when I ran in the last federal election for the Green Party of Canada is that for a campaign to be successful it needs good planning including volunteers and fundraising. I have not been able to devote the necessary time and effort to win, and I know that while I'm in rehabilitation I'll be moving too slow to chase down Nanaimo voters on the street.

Thank you for all of your support!

Cameron Wigmore

4 comments:

Cameron W said...

Here is the related news story.

Land trust pushes green civic politics

NALT wants new council to take environmental stand

Go Nanaimo said...

I agree that's a very positive development that NALT will be hosting all candidates meetings during the municipal election in November. Nanaimo is at a turning point and we need to elect more councilors who aren't in the developer's back pocket. Good luck Cameron.

Cameron W said...

Thanks for your support! Your blog and website are very interesting.

:-)

Cameron W said...

City council needs more ideas for environment

The Daily News
June 16, 2008

Re: 'NALT wants new council to take environmental stand' (Daily News, June 9).

It was inspiring to learn that Nanaimo and Area Land Trust has made a call for council candidates to address sustainability and environmental issues. After speaking with a number of community members, and with their encouragement and support, I have decided to run for city council...