Steps taken to prepare upcoming referendum


During the January 25 Special Meeting, Council approved the question residents will be asked during the upcoming non-election assent vote (also known as a referendum) to borrow funds necessary to build the proposed events centre. The question reads as the following:

"Are you in favour of the City of Nanaimo Council adopting Loan Authorization Bylaw 2017 No. 7237 which will authorize Council to borrow a sum not exceeding $80,000,000, repayable over a period of no more than 20 years, for the development and construction of an event centre that will include an ice arena and other related entertainment, cultural and recreation facilities?"

Establishing the question is a requirement for a referendum and ballot preparations. The Local Government Act states the ballot must be in a closed-ended question form where electors answer either "yes" or "no".

The Chief Election Officer will formally set the voting date after Inspector of Municipalities approval. Leading up to voting day, a number of open houses have been scheduled to provide residents with the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Link to Strategic Plan: An Events Centre supports the Recreation, Culture, Sports and Tourism priority by providing the necessary resources and space to facilitate the development of recreation, sport and culture in Nanaimo.

Key Points

  • It is expected the date of the referendum will be March 11 with advanced voting days on March 1 and 8.
  • A newsletter containing up-to-date information on the events centre will be sent to households early February and a referendum flyer is expected to hit mailboxes mid-February.
  • Expenses for the referendum include costs associated with staffing the election, advertising, supplies, advanced polling and space rental.
  • A copy of the registered voters list is available to view 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday in City Hall (455 Wallace Street).


"Last night saw Council approve the question for the upcoming non-election assent vote, or referendum. We are expecting to receive approval from the Inspector of Municipalities in early February to set the date for voting and advanced voting. In the meantime, residents can find more information on the City website and during the upcoming open houses."

Acting City Clerk
City of Nanaimo


Sheila Gurrie
Acting City Clerk
City of Nanaimo

Print News Release

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