Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA, gives her first speech in the B.C. legislature during budget discussion Monday. Legislative Assembly of British Columbia image.

Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA, gives her first speech in the B.C. legislature during budget discussion Monday. Legislative Assembly of British Columbia image.

Nanaimo’s new MLA makes her first speech in B.C. legislature

Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA, participated in budget debate Monday

Nanaimo’s new MLA, in her first speech in the legislature, endorsed the direction in which the province and the region are moving.

NDP MLA Sheila Malcolmson stood Monday in the B.C. legislature in Victoria as part of discussion on the recently introduced provincial budget.

Malcolmson began by recalling the funeral of former Snuneymuxw First Nation Chief Viola Wyse, riding an RDN transit bus with other government officials that day, and the mood of cooperation and reconciliation that existed then. She said now, in 2019, there is similar opportunity.

“We’ve got so much to do: coastal protection, climate change, affordable housing, working for people, working together and we are on the same bus and we are moving together,” Malcolmson said.

She spotlighted numerous budget items that she liked, including new childcare support, healthcare investment, affordable housing, and Clean B.C. initiatives. She talked about wanting to protect the coast against increased oil tanker traffic and said of the B.C. government, “this is the place to fight this.”

But she did suggest that in the recent Nanaimo byelection, environment and climate issues such as oil spill risks and forest fires weren’t always foremost in voters’ minds.

“The real emergencies that lie ahead of us were very hard for anybody to articulate, I’ve got to be honest, when they are still living paycheque to paycheque, when they are still on the verge of homelessness…” Malcolmson said. “I get that. Every election campaign I am reminded there is no protection of the environment without social justice and it’s only New Democrats that are doing that work.”

RELATED: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Immediately before Malcolmson’s speech, Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell delivered a 20-minute criticism of the budget and indicated she would not be supporting it. Stilwell, B.C. Liberal MLA, said the budget is “riddled with increased spending and no plans on how to pay for things.” She added that while she supports items such as rate increases for foster parents, investment in child and youth mental health and childcare spaces and elimination of student loan interest, there needs to be consideration of how to generate the revenue to provide those supports and services.

“I believe that British Columbians will be concerned with the budget’s overall emphasis on big taxes and even bigger spending with no regard for how this will impact the growth of the economy or help to create private-sector jobs…” Stilwell said. “This government’s actions have raised the cost of living, they’ve jeopardized economic growth on which the NDP has pinned all hopes of paying for their spending spree going forward.”

RELATED: Malcolmson is now officially Nanaimo’s MLA

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

Nanaimo city council voted unanimously Monday to pass a bylaw establishing the foundation for a new downtown business improvement association. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo adopts bylaw to create new downtown business improvement association

Chamber of commerce says next steps will be a board of directors and five-year strategic plan

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district teachers’ union, and its counterparts from Mount Arrowsmith district, seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigator Mark Jonah probes the scene of a blaze that destroyed two apartments on Sunday, April 18. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: RCMP say Wakesiah Avenue fire was arson, suspect has been arrested

35-year-old man arrested for allegedly starting fire lived in the complex

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

The City of Nanaimo will further investigate an initiative to set up two 12-cabin sites to create transitional emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness. (Black Press file photo)
City of Nanaimo will ask for expressions of interest to operate tiny cabin sites

Staff expresses concern about workload, councillor says sheltering people must take priority

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial into 2016 Campbell River killing underway in Victoria

Ricky Alexander is charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown

Most Read