WATCH: In Nanaimo, we now know who will be running to replace Leonard Krog. The former MLA stepped down recently after winning the mayor’s race. Kendall Hanson has more tonight on the byelection that could make a crucial difference for the balance of power.
The B.C. Green Party was the only one to hold a contested nomination meeting for the Nanaimo riding.
On Saturday afternoon two candidates made their pitch to run for the party in the upcoming provincial byelection.
“I’ve always been a fiscal conservative and a social liberal and I’ve always been involved with renewable energy and technology and those are some of the things that offer a path forward from the conundrum we’re in,” said Duane Nickull, a Green nomination candidate.
“I care about the community that I live in. I’ve lived here all my life and I absolutely have a huge passion for our environment. We are at a pivotal time in history right now,” said Michelle Ney, the other B.C. Green nomination candidate who went on to win.
The Green Party leader says while the Nanaimo riding is a traditional NDP stronghold, having only lost the seat in two elections, the Greens have a real shot at winning the seat.
“There’s a lot of disappointment within the NDP in respect to decisions on Site C and LNG and having a strong green there would actually ensure that we will continue to work with the NDP because we don’t want an election however it gives us the strength to ensure that some of the issues dear to Nanaimo residents can actually be put on the table,” said Andrew Weaver, the B.C. Green Party leader.
The Nanaimo seat in the legislature was vacated by Leonard Krog, after the long-time MLA was elected to become Nanaimo’s mayor.
That set up the by-election which is critical considering the narrow margin of power held by the NDP-Green coalition.
Federal MP Sheila Malcolmson is stepping down to run for the NDP. She gave her farewell speech in Ottawa Wednesday.
“And I’ve been so honoured to serve in this historic building but the environmental and the housing crises that my riding faces can’t wait until after the next federal election.
Because no one else is running for it Malcolmson will be acclaimed at the party’s nomination meeting for the Nanaimo riding tomorrow.
Tony Harris has been acclaimed by the B.C. Liberals. The businessman has been door knocking for the past month and says it’s positive, that during the election, Nanaimo will get so much attention.
“If we choose to vote a different way in Nanaimo we’ll really demonstrate that Nanaimo thinks for itself and we have a voice,” said Harris. “When we do that it will cause all the political parties to focus a lot more on Nanaimo because they’ll realize that maybe Nanaimo is a swing town.”
While it’s not expected the premier will call the by-election until early in the New Year many political discussion will be filling the ridings homes during the holidays.