Veteran Nanaimo Mountie wants to be Mayor

By Ian Holmes
December 13, 2016 - 4:59pm

NANAIMO — He has led the Nanaimo RCMP's Traffic Unit, now he wants to lead City Council as the next mayor of Nanaimo.

Nanaimo RCMP Cpl. Norm Smith, 51, has officially declared his candidacy to be Nanaimo's next mayor in the 2018 municipal election.

“I've seen my fair share of social and economic problems in the city. I think I have a pretty good grasp of a lot of the issues that are going on in the city,” said Smith. “When I retire, I can't see anything better than to serve the city in this position.”

Smith is scheduled to retire from the RCMP early in 2018. The next municipal vote in B.C. happens on Nov. 17, 2018. He's believed to be the first publically declared candidate who intends to head Nanaimo Council.

Smith is concerned about constant in-fighting among council and senior staff, noting the friction is hurting not only the city's image, but its citizens.

“It shows the rest of the island, the province that we just don't know what the heck we're doing right now and we can't seem to get it together,” said Smith. “There seems to be arguments over just about everything that goes on. Council storming out of sessions, swearing at each other, we can't have that, it looks bad for the city.”

Smith says while he has elements of policies in mind, he doesn't have platform at this point.

“If you have concerns, I want to hear from you and I want to make sure that we build all of those concerns in a platform.”

Smith sees bolstering tourism in Nanaimo as an important priority, noting a strong tourism sector would help make life easier on lots of business operators in the city.

Smith has no prior political experience. He's been an RCMP officer since 1986 and has lived in Nanaimo since 1989.

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