Nanaimo businessman Tony Harris named Liberal candidate in upcoming byelection


A Nanaimo businessman will attempt to win the Nanaimo seat in the legislature for the Liberal party in the upcoming byelection.

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson was in Nanaimo Wednesday morning to announce Tony Harris is the party’s candidate for the Nanaimo riding.

“He is a business leader in the community, a 6th generation Vancouver Islander, a family that has deep roots here that has always reinvested here and it cares deeply about the community,” said Wilkinson.

The seat is being vacated by Leonard Krog, who was sworn in this week as Nanaimo’s mayor.

Harris, whose father Tom built the family’s cell phone and auto business, told the Liberal byelection gathering that Nanaimo has been overlooked by the NDP.

“Nanaimo has a chance to send a message to Victoria that it’s time to stop taking Nanaimo for granted,” said Harris

“The province needs to take action now on building the right healthcare infrastructure, better transportation options, and investing in one of the fastest growing communities in the province.”

He said better health care is one of his big issues.

“I want to get an intensive care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital,” said Harris. “Let’s have a cancer treatment centre in Nanaimo so that people on the North Island don’t need to travel to Victoria to get radiation.”

Wilkinson said Nanaimo residents have a candidate in Harris that sees looks towards the future with “deep roots in the community and the know-how to effect positive change.”

NDP MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith Sheila Malcolmson announced her intention to run for the Nanaimo seat to help the provincial government enact its agenda, pointing to housing and environmental issues.

A date has not been set for the byelection but B.C. Premier John Horgan said he would like to have an MLA in the Nanaimo riding before the next provincial budget in February.

The byelection will be an important one because of the provincial government’s slim balance of power.

If Harris claims a victory in the byelection, the legislature would be even with 43 votes between the Liberals and the NDP-Green Party alliance which could lead to a provincial election.


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