Bob Chamberlin, vice-president of Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, announced today, March 20, that he’s seeking the NDP nomination for Nanaimo-Ladysmith. Photo submitted

Bob Chamberlin, vice-president of Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, announced today, March 20, that he’s seeking the NDP nomination for Nanaimo-Ladysmith. Photo submitted

First Nations leader to try for NDP nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Bob Chamberlin, vice-president of Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, announces intentions

A First Nations leader wants to take on federal politics and is seeking the NDP nomination for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

Bob Chamberlin announced Wednesday that he is a contestant for the candidacy in the riding. He grew up and went to school in Nanaimo and lives in the riding.

Chamberlin, chief councillor of the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation and vice-president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said it was an easy decision for him to run as he’s been a lifelong NDP supporter.

“The NDP party platform and the principles are hand-in-glove with the personal principles and cultural principles that I maintain,” he said.

Chamberlin said NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has brought a fresh and strong perspective into the House of Commons immediately, and Chamberlin added that he supports nearly all New Democrat Party priorities.

“But as an MP for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding, it’s incumbent upon the member of Parliament to seek out and understand the issues that are dear to the riding and then find and develop and create ways within government to have those needs addressed,” he said. “I have every confidence that I’d be able to advance those.”

RELATED: Prominent Indigenous leader Bob Chamberlin seeks federal NDP nod in B.C. riding

Chamberlin was recently First Nations chairman of a steering committee that worked with the provincial government toward closure of 17 open-pen fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago. He said wild salmon isn’t just a menu choice but a keystone species and a “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to ocean health.

Environmental protection remains a priority for him, he suggested, and said when it comes to major energy projects, the federal government’s consultation model has been developed, designed, implemented and decided upon by the Crown, which has precluded free, prior and informed consent of First Nations.

“We now need to take a really close, hard look at what are the impacts and identify them and then decide whether they are mitigatable which many I don’t believe are,” Chamberlin said.

He said in working with recent Conservative and Liberal governments, he’s felt “deep and sincere disappointment” and said recognition of aboriginal rights has been “very confined and minimalistic.” He said with major parties sharing support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it’s an opportunity to have First Nations perspectives in government to work toward developing a just country.

Chamberlin said he doesn’t know whether a byelection will happen in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, but said he’ll be ready either way.

“I know that with the experience, skills and abilities that I have, there’s really nothing too much that I find intimidating about being a member of Parliament,” he said.

Earlier this week, Lauren Semple announced she was running for the NDP nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith and according to the electoral district association, other candidates have expressed interest but have not yet been confirmed as contestants.

All other major parties have candidates in place: John Hirst, Conservatives; Michelle Corfield, Liberals; Paul Manly, Green Party; Jennifer Clarke, People’s Party of Canada.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rick Morgan, Nanaimo Search and Rescue building director, and Carly Trobridge, president and search manager, turn sod to kick off the start of renovations to NSAR’s headquarters Tuesday, Jan. 26. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Search and Rescue getting started on $2.6-million makeover at Harewood headquarters

Renovation project will increase space for vehicles and improve training and management operations

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

A downed power line has sparked a brush fire along Yellow Point Road south of Nanaimo. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Downed hydro line sparks brush fire in Yellow Point

North Oyster firefighters and B.C. Hydro on scene along Yellow Point Road

A concrete seawall built to prevent erosion on a property on Driftwood Drive on Mudge Island. (Islands Trust image)
Appeal Court says Mudge Island homeowners’ seawall has to go

Court decides right to guard against erosion isn’t a ‘privileged’ property right

McDonald’s on Nicol Street in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
McDonald’s in Nanaimo reports COVID-19 case

Employee at Nicol Street location last worked Jan. 17

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Emergency crews were called to a three-vehicle crash Monday morning on the old Island Highway close to Rock City Road. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Car, pickup and semi truck crash along the highway in Nanaimo

Incident happened in front of Rock City Plaza on Monday morning

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

Most Read