Election 2015: Election promises in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

NANAIMO – A round-up of some of the promises made by candidates on the campaign trail.

The Conservative Party made a campaign promise to support a private member’s bill to deal with derelict vessels.

John Weston, incumbent Conservative MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, introduced the bill into the House of Commons prior to the election. The bill would make it a criminal offence to abandon a boat, subject to jail time and fines of up to $100,000, according to a press release from Nanaimo-Ladysmith Conservative candidate Mark MacDonald.

In addition, a re-elected Conservative government promises to set aside $1 million per year, beginning in 2016-17, to cover one-third of the cost of removing priority derelict vessels.

“Our party has always been committed to protecting Canada from coast to coast to coast,” said MacDonald. “That’s why we’ll build on our strong record of maritime protection and security and commit new resources to support British Columbia’s coast.”

Jean Crowder, Retiring NDP MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan, introduced a similar private members’ bill that would put the responsibility for receiver of wrecks on the Canadian Coast Guard. That bill died on the floor of the House of Commons.

An NDP government would allow B.C. Ferries and the province of British Columbia to access federal funding for ferry infrastructure, terminals, fleet upgrades and new vessels.

According to Sheila Malcolmson, NDP candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, her party will make ferry infrastructure, including terminals and fleets, an eligible category for federal funding under the New Building Canada Fund.

Island Ferries, the company behind the Nanaimo to Vancouver foot passenger ferry, also applied for Build Canada funding. In an earlier election promise, the Conservatives pledged federal tax dollars to the private ferry company’s plan.

In addition to ensuring that ferry infrastructure is an eligible category under the New Building Canada Fund, an NDP government will ensure that recreation, cultural and tourist infrastructure projects are also eligible for federal funding. This additional change will also help create jobs and will support communities’ priorities.

Conservative candidate Mark MacDonald supports further safety efforts proposed by his party.

MacDonald said the key next steps of the Conservative plan to support victims and crack down on serious criminals include doubling funding for Child Advocacy Centres and Child and Youth Advocacy Centres, which coordinate the investigation, prosecution and treatment of crimes against children, and helping existing centres provide satellite services to communities outside urban centres.