As part of the News Bulletin’s coverage of the city council byelection, we asked all candidates to answer questions about their background, candidacy and priorities. Responses have been edited for grammar, style and clarity.
Jim Mercier is a successful entrepreneur and business owner who has called the city of Nanaimo home for the past nine years. A natural born leader, Jim got an early start to his business career, opening his first aviation company in Alberta at the ripe age of 19. Never one to shy away from hard work, Jim quickly grew his business from the ground up, and under his strong leadership, he managed to expand this small venture into a fleet of 13 planes.
While Jim experienced success with his aviation company early on, his business aspirations were only beginning to take flight. Over the years, his natural curiosity and varied interests have led him to work on a diversified portfolio of projects, where he developed experience in finance, real estate, development and the hospitality industry.
Currently, Jim owns and operates Ricky’s All-Day Grill and has just sold Boston Pizza after having grown this franchise successfully over the past eight years. In total, the restaurants employ over 126 people. He still uses that same hands-on approach when it comes to running his restaurants, and loves the daily interactions and conversations he gets to have with his customers.
Why are you running for city council?
While he never envisioned entering politics, Jim has grown increasingly frustrated over the past 30 months with the lack of leadership, fiscal responsibility and transparency shown by the council. No longer willing to stand by and watch council mismanage the business of our city, Jim is ready to use his judgement and skills to influence positive change in Nanaimo.