Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates outline their priorities for infrastructure spending

NANAIMO – Affordable housing, transportation, watershed and Nanaimo Airport top lists for Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates.

Federal election candidates in Nanaimo-Ladysmith outlined infrastructure they see as priorities for the riding.

Liberal candidate Tim Tessier said Nanaimo needs affordable seniors’ housing and rental housing for families earning less than $35,000 annually.

“For Nanaimo-Ladysmith, we’re in a critical shortage of affordable rental housing,” Tessier said. “There’s just not enough of it and it’s not affordable.”

Sheila Malcolmson, running for the NDP, is eying public transportation links between Vancouver Island municipalities and to First Nation communities.

“I’d love to see a good public transit connection between Nanaimo and Ladysmith. It’s so frustrating for people to not be able to make that move,” Malcolmson said.

The Green Party’s Paul Manly wants the Jump Lake reservoir watershed, which provides Nanaimo’s drinking water, brought under public ownership and environmental protections, similar to Vancouver and Victoria reservoir watersheds.

“That would be a key thing for me … making sure we have a secure, pristine source of water for this growing community,” Manly said.

Conservative candidate Mark McDonald said Nanaimo Airport is already handling passenger numbers predicted for 2020 needs to expand its terminal.

“If you’re asking me where I think the next most beneficial investment for Nanaimo and Ladysmith is, its got to be Nanaimo Airport,” McDonald said.