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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvain Fabi, Canada’s chief negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty, joined a number of government and Indigenous government stakeholders for a virtual town hall on Feb. 24, 2021, to update the state of the Columbia River Treaty negotiations. Trevor Crawley photo/Zoom screenshot
Indigenous input key to Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Ecosystem function included in negotiations along with flood management and power generation priorities

Shayna Jones. Photo: Louis Bockner
Kaslo performer collects stories of Black rural experience

Shayna Jones will create a performance piece about Black people ‘tucked away in the countryside’

The Feb. 25, 2021 edition of the Nelson Star might be a little late getting to your door. File photo
Snow delays latest Nelson Star issue

We are done with the white stuff

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
MY COVID STORY: From doctor to patient

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of three B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

Migrant farm workers transplant jalapeno sprouts from trucks into the tilted soil at a farm. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
‘They’re afraid’: Coalition sounds alarm over COVID vaccines for B.C.’s migrant workers

Though health ministry says anyone can get vaccinated, critics say barriers are keeping migrants from their dose

Most Read