Candidates vie for votes as Nanaimo byelection nears

Candidates vie for votes as Nanaimo byelection nears

WATCH: While the main candidates get all the attention, three other people are also appealing for votes in Wednesday’s critical Nanaimo by-election. Dean Stoltz reports.

If history repeats itself, Wednesday’s byelection is expected to be a tight race between Sheila Malcolmson of the NDP and Liberal Tony Harris with Green Party candidate Michelle Ney likely to finish in third place.

However, three other candidates are also looking to the Nanaimo electorate for votes.

B.C. Conservative candidate Justin Greenwood spent Sunday reaching out to voters on their doorsteps. He’s island born and raised but now lives in Langley.

He ran for the B.C. Conservatives in Langley in the 2017 election and says he will move to Nanaimo if he wins.

“If you’re tired of the back and forth between the other two parties and what they’ve been offering and what they’ve been doing to the province then we’re a fresh start for Nanaimo and a fresh start for B.C.,” said Greenwood.

He says the B.C. Conservatives should appeal to voters who are worried about their pocketbooks.

“People like what we’re standing for and what we’re trying to do like scrapping the carbon tax and reforming ICBC,” he said. “Those are the real measures that will make living costs for people more affordable and that’s what they’re really interested in.”

B.C. Libertarian Party candidate Bill Walker has lived and worked in Nanaimo for 25 years and says it’s time for less government and lower taxes.

“That’s why I became a Libertarian is I couldn’t vote for any of these other parties anymore because I don’t feel they represent me, they don’t represent the people, they don’t represent our interests,” said Walker.

He says the NDP’s speculation tax is one of the worst things he’s ever seen and has to go.

“We have to prove to them that we’re not speculators,” he said. “If I want to speculate that’s my business. If I want to leave my house vacant that’s my business. They’ve got no business being in my business.”

Former Ontario Conservative MP Robin Richardson founded the Vancouver Island party in 2016 and aims to secure the island’s independence.

“Federal and provincial governments have largely ignored Vancouver Island,” said Richardson. “Most of the money goes to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland so it’s time for a change, we would be far better off on our own.”

He says Van Isle province would start off debt free and balance the budget.

“I’m an economist and I’ve done lots of studies on that,” he added. “And also we would have lower taxes for individuals as well as businesses so we would consider a flat tax, we’re looking at that.”

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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