Indigenous leader Bob Chamberlin nominated to represent NDP in Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection

By Spencer Sterritt
March 30, 2019 - 4:02pm Updated: April 22, 2019 - 12:29pm

Now NDP candidate Bob Chamberlin addressing the crowd at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre on Saturday.Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO - Local NDP supporters now know who to vote for in the upcoming federal byelection.

Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs vice-president Bob Chamberlin was elected Saturday to represent the NDP in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding.

Lauren Semple, constituency assistant to former MP Sheila Malcolmson, Maeve O’Byrne, founding president of the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation, and political observer Fred Statham also ran for the nomination.

Riding staff said there was a significant amount of advance voting for the NDP candidates.

"We're going to make the NDP well-represented," Chamberlin said of getting voters out to the polls for the third time in seven months. "The campaign is going to be vigorous, it's going to be robust. We're ready for this election and we'll be ready for October as well."

Chamberlin joins a party which currently has slightly more than 10 per cent of ridings with NDP candidates, trailing the other federal parties in fundraising as well. 

"I believe the actions of both the Conservatives and the Liberals is going to galvanize everyone to come forward and assist the NDP to be the strong, concise voice for the average Canadian."

Selecting a candidate was originally to be held in May but was pushed ahead when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Nanaimo would once again go to the polls on May 6.

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson told the crowd at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre the party did “the best they could” to avoid a federal byelection.

Voters returning to the polls for a third time in seven months was sparked by Malcolmson quitting her role as NDP MP to successfully run as MLA for the Nanaimo riding. The MLA position was vacant because NDP MLA Leonard Krog quit his position to successfully run as Nanaimo’s mayor.

Elections Canada previously told NanaimoNewsNOW federal byelections cost approximately $1.1 million.

Chamberlin will campaign against Michelle Corfield of the Liberals, Paul Manly for the Greens, John Hirst with the Conservatives and Jennifer Clarke with the People’s Party of Canada.

Whoever wins the byelection will only represent the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding for several months, before the fall federal election.


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