Candidate profiles for Ladysmith

In the lead-up to the civic elections, we posed the following basic questions to candidates:

Describe yourself and your experience.
Why did you decide to run for a seat on council?
What do you think are the most important issues in Ladysmith?
Do you live in Ladysmith?
Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?
These are their answers (verbatim) and in the order they were received.  Check back often, as we will update this page as answers come in.
Steve Arnett – Incumbent

Describe yourself and your experience.

 Who am I

  • Incumbent Town Councilor 2008 -2018
  • Registered Social Worker BSW MSW  RSW(Ret.) in practice for 38 years
  • Resident of Ladysmith for 25 years
  • Married for 40 years with two sons, Matthew 33 and Christopher 28 who have been raised in the community
  • A proud parent of both who are local athletes and graduates of the Primary, Intermediate and Secondary schools of Ladysmith
  • Registered Metis Citizen MNBC

  What I believe

   “It Takes a Town to Raise a Child”

  What I want to contribute

  • Caring
  • Common Sense
  • Competence
  • Commitment
  • Collaboration

  Volunteer Experience

Vice President of the Vancouver Regional Library board

Town Council liaison and volunteer Celebrations Ladysmith Days

Town Council liaison Island Corridor Foundation

Vice President Tillicum Slum Housing Society 2014-2018

Member Ladysmith Maritime Society 2007 -2018

Member Ladysmith Legion 2009-2018

Executive member of Mid Isle Soccer 1994-2004

Chair of Ladysmith Youth Advisory 2001-2002

President, V-P Employment Navigators 1995-1997

Member Ladysmith Maritime Society

North American Indigenous Games volunteer

Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?

 There is still work for me to help do in the areas that inspire us toward a better community for all.

What do you think are the most important issues in Ladysmith?

 I am seeking support for a fourth term

  • To maintain our communities unique small town social character and natural environment in balance with needed investment and growth for future generations
  • To positively manage both the intended and unintended effects of marijuana legalization on all town residents most particularly our children, youth and seniors.
  • To achieve ownership and protection of our water and local watershed
  • To remove and prevent Derelict Vessels in our harbour and preserve the harbor and natural world around it
  • To secure immediate funds for a new elementary school for our children and grandchildren
  • To work with the Forest Field Steering Committee to complete our community dream

Do you live within the town?

Yes for the last 25 years

Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?


Here is why.

I have refused to invite social media into my life due to the unchecked excesses of a social  media culture the moment it began to  ravage the lives of so many vulnerable teens (mere babies only really),  to the extent they took their own lives in order to end the ceaseless torment that would intrude upon their young persons at any time of the day or night in even the most private and formerly safe places they thought they could take’ refuge from the storm’ in.

Only  now are we as adults beginning to appreciate that too much of a touted good thing is actually bad for you! In this case it can destroy lives or has actually been instrumental in extinguishing them because there are no boundaries, no borders, no safeguards, no individual protections except to opt out while you still have breath in your body.

We all need to opt for a return to a civil society where vigorous debate and clashes of ideas generally albeit not always took place in a culture of wait for  it – ‘CIVILITY and RESPECT’ which has now deteriorated to the point where an  individual like Sook Councilor Kerrie Rae who I have previously served on the Vancouver Island Regional Library Board with, has decided her only recourse is to withdraw from public office and service to her community because the price to do so with good intention is  intolerably high.

We all lose with that outcome of social media excess.

Previous to Councilor Rae,  Mayor Helps found it prudent to close her Facebook account and I penned my thoughts about her decision. I sent this to our Mayor and Council members after reading the TC article about Mayor Helps canceling her Facebook account.

‘Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is quitting Facebook’

Hi folks,

Most of you know my view of social media as a popular culture phenomena already.

Sitting on my deck in the sun today I was thinking of The Times Colonist headline above in prose (amateur ditty attempt that that it be), about the danger of our polity being driven by trendiness versus facts and open debate .wherein we can be challenged to defend our views and the positons we take.


Robert Johnson – Served prior to 2014


BACKGROUND——I am a native son of Ladysmith, and my family was one of the first settlers to what is now Ladysmith, arriving here back in 1899.

I live in Ladysmith

And I have a Face book site “ As We See It”

I graduated from Ladysmith Secondary and then went on get a Diploma in Business Management from BCIT, specializing in Marketing and Transportation.

After working for large Forest Companies in Vancouver and living in White Rock, I returned to Ladysmith in 1990.

Over my years in Ladysmith, I have been involved with many clubs and organizations. I am a past  President of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, past President of the Ladysmith Historical Society, and have been on the boards of the Ladysmith Maritime Society, and The Ladysmith Resource Centre, as well as on the Board of Directors of  Mid Island Community Futures.

I served on Town Council for 6 years (2002-2008).  In 2004, I was lucky enough to be a chair of Ladysmith’s Centennial Celebration. I  have represented the Town by being elected to the Executive Committee of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities, and I was also elected to serve on the executive committee of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities.

Why am I running——I am running because I feel that I can add to the discussion as to how Ladysmith needs to adapt to the pressures that are being put on it. I believe my experiences and love of the community will help shape the place both you and I want to live in.

Ladysmith is changing. I want these changes to be what the majority of the community would feel is best for our community.  I want to hear from you, I want to work for you, I want to be your voice.

The incoming  Council will be asked to make choices that will affect our community forever. You the voter must take the time to investigate what each candidate can bring to the table. Some candidates are seeking your support for re-election. You should ask yourself, are you happy with what the present Council has done regarding roads, taxes, selling off land purchased for parkland? Are you in favour of the rezoning with the intent to sell on land next to Transfer Beach Park for 6 story Condos?  How do you feel about the outgoing Council doing so much Town business behind closed doors (last year 95% of the meetings were closed to the public part of the time).

Some are first-time Candidates are running with no past Council experience, they are offering new energy and a willingness to listen and work hard to make Ladysmith a better place.

Priorities ——I want the public to feel good about it’s Council and how it does it.s business. To achieve this I will fight to ensure that as much Town business is discussed in public as legally possible.

I want to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent wisely. It is unlikely that your taxes will go down as increases are already committed, so therefore I want to see that we get the best value for our tax money. I will question why the need to spend so much of our money on consultants and senior staff.

I want to see that any growth in population is matched to our ability to supply clean fresh, clean, safe drinking water to all our residents even it means the Towns park and fields have to go brown.

I promise to work to ensure that we attract more Doctors to our area so that everyone in our community has access to their own family doctor

I will work hard to promote regional planing and development. This means working with Nanaimo and Nanaimo Regional Distict and not just the CVRD. Ladysmith is on the cusp of CVRD and NRD. We can not continue to be self foucus on the CVRD  when we are are shop, work and play in the Nanaimo area.

What’s the best path forward for growth on Ladysmith’s waterfront

Our waterfront is part of a complex arrangement that involves both CVRD areas G and H, the Town, The Provincial government, First Nations and the Federal Government, as well as those that have private water lot leases.

We need to develop a team of all involved so that we can develop a comprehensive plan that will allow for economic growth that will preserve our harbour well still allow for marine tourism, recreational tourism, public use, as well as clean industrial growth allowing for green commercial ventures.


Marsh Stevens


My name is Marsh Stevens and I am running for Ladysmith Council. I live in Old Town Ladysmith with the love of my life Yvanne and our three (usually) awesome children – in the house that I built for us. I have lead, and continue to lead, a charmed life packed with a lot of treasured experiences, opportunities and luck. Combine the great life I lead with a passion for politics and you get my strong desire to give back, to serve my community. I am a progressive pragmatist — I solve problems. I get things done. I do my part to make things better. I certainly have opinions, but if elected, I will listen to the community and work with my colleagues on Council to rise to challenges, embrace opportunities, and turn ideas into reality.

The Issues

  • A Water Supply We Can Count On
  • A Vibrant Local Economy
  • Affordable Housing
  • Partnerships – With Stz’uminus First Nation and regionally
  • The Waterfront


The Main Issue: Water

Now that the treatment plant is funded and underway, work on increasing supply will move ahead. The engineering report(s) are in hand. In November a Request for Proposals will go out for a Holland Lake Dam Increase Feasibility Study. Council has set a $3.4 million contribution and directed Staff to seek $9.4 million more in funding. Imagine knowing the water supply was sustainable. Imagine the accuracy of the planning that could be performed with that knowledge.  Analytical and critical thinking skills and a ‘get things done’ work ethic are what I would bring to the Council to help make this happen.



Degrees in Philosophy: BA hon (Trent), MA (Guelph), Certificate: Community Based Development (St. FX), Diploma: Computer Assisted Drafting and Design (Int. Academy of Design),  Black Belt: Kung Fu


Current Work

I am currently the President of the Board of Directors of the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association, the largest Social Service Organization in Ladysmith. I am in my 4th year serving and in my 3rd year as President. In this volunteer position, I have spent 15 to 30+ hours per week leading governance, fundraising and public relations efforts. When I became President, the LRCA had an unimplemented plan for its governance, was facing an operational deficit approaching 6 to 7% of its total budget, and had a public relations deficit that was even more imposing than the financial one. Today, the deficit has been eliminated, the LRCA has a new proactive Mission, Vision, and Values, clear policies on Conflict of Interest, Non-disclosure, Media Relations, a Volunteer Code of Conduct, a strategic work-plan, and is well on its way to owning/operating, millions of dollars in affordable housing. Obviously, I did not do this all by myself – I did it by working with the passionate Staff, a visionary Board, Committees that have put in thousands of hours of work, all 3 levels of government, and the 300 Volunteers that make possible the dozen+ community-based programs of the LRCA.


I also have experience, in health services planning, community development, teaching at the university level, art and design, and property management.


For more details please friend/follow


The following candidates have not responded to our request for information:

Joe Friesenhan – Incumbent
Duck (Donald) Paterson – Incumbent
Tricia McKay (Patricia)
Jeff Virtanen
Amanda Jacobson
Malcolm Stanford Sacht

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