B.C. MLA officially announces he’s running for mayor

MLA Leonard Krog says he’s ready to step down from provincial politics to run for mayor of Nanaimo

NDP MLA Leonard Krog in conversation with the News Bulletin this week. Krog has now announced that he will run for mayor of Nanaimo in this fall’s local government election. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo’s long-serving MLA will seek the mayor’s chair.

NDP MLA Leonard Krog announced Wednesday evening that he will run for mayor of Nanaimo in this fall’s local government election.

“I haven’t felt this enthusiastic about something for awhile, to be honest,” said Krog.

He said he’d been musing about a mayoral bid for a couple of years, but it was the fact that so many people asked him to run – people from across the political spectrum, he said, people who knew him well and people who didn’t.

“They felt that I was the person who could bring people together and that’s the theme of the campaign. It is about bringing people together for change,” he said.

Krog was also persuaded by potential city council candidates who will now be willing to put their names forward.

“People who I respect, regardless of their politics but who I knew would be first-rate councillors, said, ‘if you will run for mayor, I will run for council,’” he said. “That was certainly an important factor.”

Krog said the city’s reputation has been diminished the last three and a half years and went so far as to say Nanaimo has been “a bit of a laughingstock” at times.

“That’s the bad news. The good news is it is also a wonderful opportunity and there has been an incredible increase, I think, in civic engagement,” Krog said. “People who weren’t paying a lot of attention to local politics are paying attention now.”

He said the “event centre fiasco,” for example, showed that city councillors were “out-of-touch and not willing to listen to people.”

A new council under his leadership would need to get up to speed on the job and hire a permanent chief administrative officer who can help attract and retain good managers at city hall, he said.

A downtown transportation hub should be an obvious priority in a modern city, he said, and he mentioned that council needs to show fortitude with social housing projects so it doesn’t miss out on any more provincial funding.

As far as the logistics of his campaign, Krog said he will continue to serve as MLA, but will request to stop drawing his salary once the civic election campaign officially begins. If he wins, he will resign his seat; if not, the 65-year-old will serve out the rest of his term.

He said that though he recognizes a lot of the city’s work is around zoning, roads, garbage, sewer and the like, “one of the great joys of municipal politics is that if you work with a good group of people, people who put the community first, you can accomplish a lot.”

That’s part of the appeal, Krog suggested – making a difference in his community in a different way than through representation in the legislature, where he has served since 2005.

“I’m effective in that forum in terms of being able to make speeches and criticize and put forward ideas and amuse and all those things, and that’s lovely. But it is ultimately an atmosphere where the game is played with set rules and it is about conflict and we’ve seen what conflict has [done] these last three and a half years,” he said. “I want to work in an environment where whatever leadership skills I have and can bring to this, I can work with a team to make things happen. I want to move us forward. I want to make progress. I want to make change. I want to see this community develop in the way that it should.”



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Intersection getting safety upgrade

Be prepared for traffic changes in Penticton’s industrial area

Summerland housing issues raised at candidate forum

High housing costs, low vacancy rates and lack of affordable housing addressed

Don’t be dazed and confused about cannabis legalization

Sitting down with an Okanagan lawyer to clear the haze of marijuana rules

Hero campaign raises $24,000 for Okanagan non-profits

Lowe’s Canada Heroes campaign was held throughout September

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Your morning news in 90: Oct. 17, 2018

Tune in for 90 seconds to get the top headlines for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who’s running in Penticton’s election?

Candidates for the Penticton municipal and school board election

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Okanagan College dives into cannabis courses

The college has adapted its programs in Kelowna

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Demand for legalized cannabis in early hours draws lineups, heavy web traffic

Government-run and privately operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, eliciting a wave of demand.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set to make parole pitch today

Paul Bernardo, whose very name became synonymous with sadistic sexual perversion, is expected to plead for release on Wednesday.

Most Read