Chief Bob Chamberlin, left, Vice-President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, speaks with Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart during a news conference with Indigenous leaders and politicians opposed to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday April 16, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Prominent Indigenous leader Bob Chamberlin seeks federal NDP nod in B.C. riding

Bob Chamberlin is the long-serving chief councillor of a First Nation based on Gilford Island

A high-profile Indigenous leader in British Columbia intends to seek the 2019 NDP candidacy in the federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

He is serving his third three-year term as vice president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

In a news release announcing his bid for the nomination, Chamberlin says he has spent much of his life in the Nanaimo area and understands issues important to the riding such as affordable housing and childcare, and a workable pharmacare system covering prescription drugs.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith is currently vacant after former New Democrat member of Parliament Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January to run successfully for the provincial New Democrats in a byelection.

READ MORE: Activist and past Pride president seeking NDP nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not announced a federal by-election in the Vancouver Island riding, but Elections Canada said in January that it must be called no later than July 6.

The Conservative Party of Canada selected its candidate, 32-year-old financial manager John Hirst, last November and Jennifer Clarke, who lost the nomination to Hirst, was named in January to represent the new People’s Party of Canada, led by Quebec MP Maxime Bernier. Michelle Corfield, chairwoman of the Port of Nanaimo, was chosen the federal Liberal Party candidate this past weekend. Paul Manly is running for the Green Party of Canada.

Chamberlin says in his roles leading the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation and as vice president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, he has worked with Liberal and Conservative governments, served as chair of several agencies and boards, and advocated on a range of issues.

“We can get better results for Canadians from coast to coast to coast, but it’s not going to happen under a Trudeau government that continually overlooks the practical needs of Canadians just looking to get by and needing to make their lives more affordable,” Chamberlin says in the release.

The Canadian Press

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