Incumbent NDP MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, Doug Routley is seeking reelection in the October 24 provincial election.
Routley has served as MLA for the area since 2005. He will be running on the NDP’s B.C. Restart Plan, and the government’s record since the 2017 election. Within the riding, Routley is focused on finishing the Crofton Road project, delivering results on affordable housing projects in Nanaimo, transportation improvements, and increasing the number of child care spaces.
“Broader provincial policies that affect us locally are forestry policies, and we need to see more improvement in that area. And any time there’s a consideration of services in coastal constituencies, we need to think about seniors care as well. I’ll be looking to see improvements there too,” Routley said.
On the Restart Plan, Routley said that 50 of the plan’s 53 recommendations have been acted on and are being implemented.
“All of those are rebuilding projects, and enhancements to programs that are being viewed through the dual lens of climate change and reconciliation.”
The NDP has faced harsh criticism for calling a snap election amid the pandemic, despite assurances from Dr. Bonnie Henry that it is safe to hold an election.
Routley said that having the election now rather than next October will give the province stability moving forward through the COVID-19 crisis.
“The mandate that was put together after the last election is nearly irrelevant in the face of what’s in front of us. This pandemic has shaken our institution to its foundations. There will have to be extraordinary steps – and there already have been extraordinary steps taken – to cope with it. Now we have to have the partnership of the people of B.C.. Stable government is what we’re after.”
Overall, Routley hopes that the election will bring unity to the Legislature, and to the province as a whole.
“We’ve seen to the south what disunity does in the middle of the crisis. We saw partisanship creeping into the last session that blocked some important bills from going forward. I hope to have a unity of purpose coming out of the election, so that we can all work together.”