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

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

Beefs & Bouquets, June 3

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Provincial funding will help Regional District of Nanaimo create poverty reduction strategy

RDN partnering with Nanaimo, Lantzville, Qualicum and Islands Trust on regional project

Parcel stolen from front porch, Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect

Unidentified woman allegedly stole package containing $400 smart watch

Police look for suspect after alleged assault at gas station in Nanaimo

Victim says he was punched in the head several times in late April at business in South Wellington

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Vancouver Island school principal mourns family killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo’s Rocky Point

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Most Read