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Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates present their priorities in their own words

Five candidates running for MP in the federal election Sept. 20
Candidates in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding include Lisa Marie Barron of the NDP, top left, Michelle Corfield of the Liberal Party, Tamara Kronis of the Conservatives, Paul Manly of the Green Party, bottom left, and Stephen Welton of the People’s Party of Canada. (Photos submitted)

Voters in Nanaimo-Ladysmith and across Canada will go to the polls this month to elect members of Parliament and the next federal government.

In Nanaimo-Ladysmith, there are five candidates on the ballot. The Nanaimo News Bulletin e-mailed the same questions to all candidates. Here are their edited responses, in alphabetical order.

Lisa Marie Barron, New Democratic Party


Nanaimo-Ladysmith is my home, where I’ve raised my two teenage children and have fought for some of the most vulnerable people in our community for over 26 years. I’m deeply rooted here and I know what it’s like to do the work on the front lines to make change, not just talk about it.

I’ve served as a school board trustee since 2018 where I made sure that students, and families, are always put first. I will continue to fight for the safety and well-being of students, teachers, school staff, and families. I also work on the front lines in addictions serving youths and their families helping them find the services they need to help in their recovery.

Why are you running for MP?

I want this community and this planet to be better for my children and for everyone’s children. I am ready to stand up for the most vulnerable and to stand up for bold climate action now. And I am running because our community deserves stronger representation in Ottawa and stronger action to push for change.

What will your priorities be, if you are elected?

First and foremost, we are in a climate crisis. Too many of our community’s most vulnerable are the first impacted in this climate emergency. I want Canada to be a world leader on climate action, right now we are not. An NDP government will fulfill Canada’s G-20 commitment to eliminate these fossil fuel subsidies and redirect those funds to low-carbon initiatives.

Climate action needs to be tied to reconciliation. Jagmeet Singh has committed $500 million to support Indigenous-led stewardship programs to advance reconciliation and protect the land, water and forests, including old growth. It’s time we had a government that took reconciliation seriously and implemented every one of the 94 calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including clean drinking water for all communities.

And, finally, people are telling me that it is getting too expensive to live here, we are facing an affordability crisis and I’ve experienced it myself. I’ve struggled to make ends meet, trying to afford my family’s dental care, rent and groceries. People need relief now, especially after this pandemic.

That’s why the NDP has been fighting for head-to-toe healthcare. Universal public pharmacare will extend coverage to everyone in Canada. Families will save an average of $550 per year. An NDP government will also put in a 20 per cent foreign buyers’ tax to tackle money laundering in the housing market while building 500,000 new affordable homes. New Democrats will remove interest from federal student loans – government should not be profiting off the backs of students.

New Democrats are pushing for a better future where no one is left behind. I am ready to fight with Jagmeet and the NDP, to provide Nanaimo-Ladysmith with the strong voice they deserve, to get the work done.

Michelle Corfield, Liberal Party of Canada


In the six years I have been on the Port of Nanaimo board I have been instrumental in bringing over $70 million in federal funds to Nanaimo.

I successfully negotiated the resolution to the Colliery Dam, and I raised over $400,000 in-kind and cash contributions to build the Steve Smith Bike Park. I also was the lead in saving Nanaimo Harbour from private investors, keeping our harbour the iconic place we have all come to know and love.

Why are you running for MP?

I have been raised and educated here during my life, raised two kids who went to school here and have chosen to work here. This has given me a perspective of watching how Nanaimo-Ladysmith has grown in the past 50 years. We are at a critical point where we have an increase in seniors who need the health infrastructure here, not Victoria or Vancouver. We have a severe homeless and addictions problem in our city core – we need solutions. Just in the past 15 years, Nanaimo-Ladysmith has not had a results-driven MP with the sitting government that has effectively represented the constituents in Ottawa. The voters, and quite honestly, the eligible voters who have not voted in past elections, have chosen MPs who don’t have any political influence to ensure Nanaimo-Ladysmith receives its fair share of capital investments, promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise.

In my practice, I am already called upon by all levels of government and organizations as an area expert for environmental issues, specifically the Environmental Assessment Act and the Fisheries Act. As a Nuu-chah-nulth woman and educated candidate, I am responsible for ensuring the environment is sustainable for future generations. ‘Heshook-ish Tsawalk’ are principles I live by in my work and life and must be incorporated in all climate change advocacy.

What will your priorities be, if you are elected?

As a lifetime resident of Nanaimo, I have represented Nanaimo on numerous boards that directly benefit Nanaimo-Ladysmith’s residents. I will continue to advocate for sustainable economic growth in industries residents work in and ensure that Nanaimo is a vital economic hub for Vancouver Island. Nanaimo-Ladysmith residents require capital infrastructure and green technology to benefit our communities directly and ensure monies invested stay in our region. This keeps money in the pockets of residents and ensures that they can continue to live in our region.

Tamara Kronis, Conservative Party of Canada


Lawyer and goldsmith

Why are you running for MP?

My passion is helping people and fighting for what is right. It is important that I work hard for Nanaimo-Ladysmith through a strong constituency office and by being as available as possible. We need to tackle our issues together. When in Ottawa, I will advocate for the needs of this community and region so that they understand that we have issues to be addressed and we will be heard.

What will your priorities be, if you are elected?

There are many serious issues we need to address. With Canada’s Recovery Plan we have outlined many of our action steps.

The cost of everything is going up – grocery bills are up five per cent and gas prices have skyrocketed. With inflation at the highest level in 20 years and rising, families are struggling to make ends meet. We have the right economic recovery plan to get inflation under control, lower prices, and make life more affordable for families.

Over the course of the pandemic, millions of Canadians lost their jobs. We have a jobs action plan to help those hardest hit and we will also give small businesses the support they need to get back on their feet.

Health care is imperative. We will invest another $60 billion over 10 years in health transfers to the provinces. Mental health is at the forefront and will address the mental health crisis by recognizing that mental health is health and making historic investments to help those in need. To help those struggling with addiction and save lives, we will invest $325 million over the next three years to create 1,000 residential drug treatment beds and build 50 recovery community centres across the country.

For the environment, we have a serious plan to combat climate change that allows us to meet our targets and reduce emissions by 2030 as well as investing an additional $3 billion between now and 2030 in natural climate solutions focused on management of forest, crop and grazing lands and restoration of grasslands, wetlands, and forests. Instead of sending your money to Ottawa, Low Carbon Savings Accounts help Canadians make greener lifestyle choices, while allowing them to decide what works best for them and their family. We are the only party with a plan to secure our environment, secure jobs, and secure our future.

Paul Manly, Green Party of Canada


Prior to serving as member of Parliament for the past two years, I was a media producer and small business owner. I grew up in Ladysmith and have been living in Nanaimo for almost 20 years.

Why are you running for re-election?

Climate change is the reason I went into politics, and it’s the reason I’m seeking re-election. Hundreds of people in B.C. died from extreme heat this summer, and wildfires displaced thousands. Our families, homes and communities are under threat. We need voices outside of the mainstream parties pushing for bold, courageous climate action because those parties have failed us. They need to be held to account on their climate commitments.

David Suzuki, 350 Canada, and Leadnow have recognized my work in Parliament and endorsed me for re-election as a climate champion. I am committed to fighting for an end to all fossil fuel subsidies, cancelling all new pipeline projects and accelerating Canada’s shift to renewable energy. I will also continue to call for a national ban on gas fracking – something no other political party will commit to. We deserve bold, long-term thinking from our MPs because our safety and security depend on it.

What will your priorities be, if you are elected?

Serving the constituents of Nanaimo-Ladysmith has always been my first priority. This means listening to community members and bringing their concerns to Parliament.

Currently, housing affordability and increasing homelessness are very pressing concerns in our community. We’re losing affordable housing units faster than we can build them. We need stronger regulation to end predatory investment practices that are driving up home prices and rents.

Local businesses need continued support as we recover from the pandemic. I will be advocating on their behalf, as I have been since the beginning. I’m also calling for a wealth tax because it’s time the ultra-wealthy and big corporations paid their fair share.

I was blowing the whistle on poor conditions in long-term care even before the pandemic. We must have national standards to guarantee residents receive the care they deserve. We also need to complete our health-care system. That means implementing universal pharmacare and dental care. It also means ensuring that everyone has access to mental health care.

We must also uphold Indigenous rights and advance reconciliation. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Actions and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice have shown us the path forward. I will continue pushing for their full implementation.

Stephen Welton, People’s Party of Canada


Several years ago, I retired from my career as a project manager specializing in environmental, health and safety programs with large Canadian corporations including Safety-Kleen Canada and Maple Leaf Foods. I am currently operating a small contracting business that keeps me happily engaged and productive, helping people with their home repair and renovation needs.

I have undergraduate degrees in earth sciences and have completed programs in business and in health and safety in subsequent years.

Why are you running for MP?

I am concerned for the future of this country given the rapid shifts we’ve seen in the last few years to leftism and the authoritarianism that accompanies extreme ideologies. I believe we desperately need to return closer to the political centre by reviving conservative values of fiscal responsibility and respect for our Charter rights and freedoms. I am proud of the career I had cleaning up contaminated sites and helping industry become greener and safer, and of my personal life as a father, but now it is time to take my decades of work and life experience and apply it to helping rebuild this country’s pride and prosperity.

What will your priorities be, if you are elected?

The PPC will ensure vaccination remains a voluntary choice and vaccine passports will not be allowed. We will roll back carbon taxes and make sure environmental initiatives are rational and effective without unfairly penalizing working Canadians. We will reaffirm free speech and not allow censorship. We will balance the budget and divert from the great reset. I will speak up in the House of Commons for the people of Nanaimo-Ladysmith to ensure respect for taxpayers and fairness to a riding that has been woefully ignored by Ottawa.

The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce will host a candidates’ forum with four of the five candidates on Sept. 15 from 7-8:30 p.m. online at

While election day is Sept. 20, citizens may vote instead via advance voting Sept. 10-13, at the Elections Canada office at 4900 Wellington Rd. from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week until Sept. 14 at 6 p.m., or by mail if an application to vote by mail is made no later than Sept. 14 at 3 p.m.

Addresses of polling places, including advance poll locations, is on voter information cards that were mailed to eligible voters.

For more information about where and how to vote, visit

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