The daughter of popular former Nanaimo mayor Frank Ney will try to win a seat in the B.C. legislature in a byelection anticipated for 2019.
Michele Ney was chosen to represent the B.C. Greens by local party members at a nomination meeting at Beban Park social centre Saturday. She ran against Duane Nickull for the candidacy.
Ney told the News Bulletin she was thrilled and honoured for the opportunity to represent the party and said her communication skills were qualities she thought appealed to Nanaimo party members. With her background as an educator, Ney said she had acquired a great deal of knowledge related to the issues.
“I believe it would be housing, transportation and jobs in Nanaimo and of course, if we transition into a green economy, that will be offering all kinds of new business opportunities and employment for people in Nanaimo and ideally bringing people that are working in the fossil fuel industry back home where they can work and live,” said Ney when asked about what she thought were issues affecting the riding.
The MLA position became available once Leonard Krog resigned last month after being voted mayor of Nanaimo.
Tony Harris, a Nanaimo businessman, has been selected as B.C. Liberal candidate and current Nanaimo MP Sheila Malcolmson will be confirmed tomorrow, Dec. 16, as the candidate for the B.C. NDP.
No date has been announced for the byelection, but Premier John Horgan has indicated it will take place in January.
Ney said she is prepared for what could be a short campaign period.
“There’s no choice in that; that’s all we have right now,” she said. “It will be a fast campaign for sure. It will be an exciting one and like I’d said before, it’s a very important election and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of it.”
Andrew Weaver, B.C. Green Party leader, was present at the meeting and said Nanaimo is an important electoral area.
“I hope to come up and spend a good deal of time here in January door knocking, meeting people here with Michele as well as with volunteers,” said Weaver. “I know Nanaimo very well. I’ve been here countless times and it’ll be fun to chat with people on the door [steps].”
When asked what she learned from her late father, Ney said a love of the environment.
“He had a great deal of respect for it and he loved the people in our community and wanted a community where the people thrived and prospered, but had the enjoyment and lifestyle that connected us with our … lakes, our mountains, our rivers and our ocean,” said Ney.