The NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson won the by-election in Nanaimo on Jan. 30. (File photo)

Cowichan leaders hopeful with Malcomson’s Nanaimo by-election win

Political stability seen as important to getting work done

Leaders in the Cowichan Valley are pleased with the political stability in the province that the election of the NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson in Nanaimo will likely bring.

Doug Routley, NDP MLA for Nanaimo/North Cowichan, said the by-election on Jan. 30 was seen by many as a referendum on the provincial government.

RELATED STORY: MALCOLMSON VOTED IN AS NANAIMO’S NEXT MLA

He said that with Malcolmson’s win in the riding, he and the NDP “feel validated” with the decisions and directions the government has taken since it was elected in May, 2017.

Routley said he went door-to-door in Nanaimo with Malcolmson during the campaign and heard many people tell them they were happy that MSP Premiums have been reduced by 50 per cent for all British Columbians, child-care subsidies have been increased, and affordable-housing issues in Nanaimo were being addressed, among other issues, since the NDP formed government.

RELATED STORY: DOUG ROUTLEY SAYS GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO RAILWAY

“We heard so many things that matter to people by going door-to-door, and we were left feeling upbeat about the work this government is doing,” Routley said.

“The government will now move forward with the project of governing B.C.”

Malcolmson took 49 per cent of the vote in the by-election, while her nearest competitor, Tony Harris, garnered 40 per cent.

The balance in the province’s legislature was at stake in the by-election.

The governing NDP currently maintains a slim minority with the confidence of the B.C. Green Party, but one more Liberal seat would have drawn that party even, which could have led to the fall of the government in a no-confidence vote.

Al Siebring, mayor of North Cowichan, said Malcolmson’s win in the by-election means that another provincial election won’t likely be called anytime soon so, from the perspective of local governments, it gives them a longer horizon to deal with ongoing issues with the present provincial government.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN’S NEW MAYOR READY TO BRING CHANGE

“We’re in the process of working out long-term commitments from this provincial government on such issues as affordable housing, so having the government stable without having to worry about an election call is a positive development,” Siebring said.

Michelle Staples, mayor of Duncan, said the city and the province have been engaging in conversations around many issues important to Duncan, including affordable housing, childcare spaces, addictions and the Island’s railway, and she’s pleased those talks and plans won’t likely be derailed now that there’s little chance the government will fall anytime soon.

RELATED STORY: STAPLES TO LEAD FRESH-FACED COUNCIL IN DUNCAN

“We know that we have some big problems here, and we need to deal with them as quickly as possible, so the election results in Nanaimo means that we can continue those conversations with the government,” Staples said.

“I remain hopeful that these discussions with the province will lead to some real solutions for these issues.”

Ian Morrison, chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, agreed with Siebring and Staples that the fact that B.C. is not “on edge for going to the polls” anytime soon, is very important to local governments.

RELATED STORY: IAN MORRISON NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

“We need stability in the province in order to get some very important work done here,” Morrison said.

“We’ve embarked on a transportation study, and other work, in the CVRD that also involve the province, so all this is not at risk by the fall of the government. As well, the people of Nanaimo are blessed with a dedicated and hard-working public servant in Sheila.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Lake Flashback: Great Lake Walk, development mooted for Paldi, visitors want more attractions

There’s always been ideas for Paldi, but none have yet come to fruition

Caps get back in win column

Cowichan remains unbeaten at home with 5-2 win over Surrey

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

‘Youthful exuberance’ or ‘grievous deed’: opinion is divided on Trudeau’s ‘brown face’ costume

Local Liberal candidate asks voters to concentrate on Prime Minister’s political record

VIDEO: Cars, fans flock to Lake Cowichan show & shine

A&W, VI Motorsport Circuit, and 75th anniversary group put on a great show Sept 8, 2019

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Most Read