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

Only steps away: Gutsy Walk returns to Kelowna

The walk to cures for Crohn’s disease and colitis comes June 2

Sister of cancer victim cycles across Canada to raise awareness

Her journey started on May 14 and will end in early August

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to the Okanagan

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone Award Foundation charity weekend in Kelowna

Woman in hospital after being thrown off horse

She was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital from Okanagan Falls

Update: Washed out South Okanagan road temporarily closed for assessment

A portion of Eastside Road, south of Penticton, appears to be crumbling into Skaha Lake

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Okanagan art gallery releases their theme

Fine arts painting will be the point of focus for this year’s event

South Okanagan search and rescue help injured climber

Search and rescue called on the assistance of a helicopter to help retrieve an injured hiker

Okanagan nature centre fundraiser goes western

Allan Brook’s Nature Centre Wine and Wild West Fundraiser is on July 6

Marriage proposal on the big screen at Enderby drive-in

Kelowna man gets engaged in front of hundreds to Vernon sweetheart

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Firefighters respond to bus fire on Highway 1

Smoke in coach bus reported to have been caused by overheating, driver and passengers safe

Most Read