The Ward System

The eight members of Nanaimo City Council are elected at large, meaning that everyone in the city gets to vote for them. Many people (including me) would prefer a ward system whereby the city was divided into eight wards, each with its own designated council member. Election campaigns under the current system are expensive as each council candidate must reach out to every voter. This favours special interests willing to contribute financially to candidates supportive of their pet projects or development plans. Under a ward system, campaigning becomes far less costly as candidates only need to reach one eighth as many voters.

You may be interested to know that only two sitting members of the current Nanaimo City Council live near downtown: Bill Bestwick, 201-520 Blue Girl Way (on the waterfront at the foot of Townsite Road), and Jim Kipp, 330 Eberts Street. All of the remaining city council members live in other areas: Three are in Departure Bay, one lives in North Nanaimo near Canadian Tire, one lives in a rural area off Jingle Pot Road, and one is high up on College Heights. None of our councilors live in South Nanaimo.