Electoral reform top-of-mind for Nanaimo MP as Parliament resumes

NANAIMO – There is a lot of other work to do in the House of Commons this fall, says Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson.

Electoral reform is a top-of-mind subject, and there is a lot of other work to do in the House of Commons this fall, says Nanaimo’s MP.

Sheila Malcolmson, NDP member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, returns to Ottawa next week for the fall sitting of the house.

She’s already got a time slot on the first day back today (Sept. 19) to talk about abandoned vessels, one of a number of federal issues she hopes will be discussed this fall.

Electoral reform, she said, is at the top of the list, “because the timeline is really tight on making changes in time for the next election.”

Regardless of NDP’s past policy on the voting system, Malcolmson said she will reflect in Ottawa what she hears in her riding.

“We are absolutely open minded … but equality and proportionality are very important principles,” she said.

She’s anticipating a lot of debate in the house this fall on subjects that have implications for the environment and climate change. Malcolmson hopes for discussion about Site C dam, and there are also decisions to make on pipeline projects. The next United Nations climate change conference is in Marrakesh, Morocco, in November, and Malcolmson criticized the Liberals for being slow to strengthen Canada’s existing climate targets. She plans to hold a town hall on climate change in her riding in the next month or so.

“We’ll be taking back to Ottawa, what are some of the solutions that are good for local economy, good for local jobs, but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and give the government some concrete solutions that they can incorporate into setting their federal reduction targets,” she said.

Malcolmson hopes to see movement on certain issues affecting First Nations people. She doesn’t think the government needs to wait to implement certain recommendations that are likely to come out of the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, for example, funding to combat domestic violence, initiatives to create affordable housing and expand public transit, and improvements to relationships with police.

Last week, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued a second compliance order to the Liberal government regarding child welfare on reserves, and that’s concerning to Malcolmson.

“You have to put money in on an equivalent basis that our country funds non-native kids,” she said. “It’s just absolutely pure and unequivocal discrimination that’s been long-standing.”

Other subjects Malcolmson anticipates discussing during the fall sitting include the Trans-Pacific Partnership and legalization of marijuana.

The MP said there’s a lot of work to do after a decade of Conservative leadership, so her party will be committed to working with the Liberal government.

“And trying to hit that balance of giving the government the opportunity to say what they are doing, because we want these things to succeed,” she said. “We’re not in a combative place that we were with the previous Conservative government where we didn’t share the same values.”

An undercurrent to the fall sitting will be the leadership situation of opposition parties. Malcolmson said outgoing NDP leader Tom Mulcair will be “a strong advocate” in holding the government to account, and she doesn’t think the party’s upcoming change in leadership will be any kind of distraction with the decision still a year away.

“As New Democrats declare for leadership, then they will bring a particular focus to some of the policy ideas and the positive visions for the country,” she said. “But honestly, I hope that doesn’t get going until the spring … because we’ve just got so much to do right now.”

Just Posted

Young people graduating in COVID-19 times have shown resilience. (Stock photo)
Editorial: Class of 2021 has shown smarts and resilience

Congratulations and good luck to Grade 12s who have persevered during the pandemic

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomer by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

Most Read