Michelle Stilwell of the B.C. Liberal Party is seeking re-election in Parksville-Qualicum, a riding that includes parts of north Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)

Michelle Stilwell of the B.C. Liberal Party is seeking re-election in Parksville-Qualicum, a riding that includes parts of north Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)

Stilwell begins election race in Parksville-Qualicum

B.C. Liberals incumbent up for re-election as MLA

Michelle Stilwell is always up for a race, but she says this one shouldn’t be happening.

The B.C. Liberals incumbent is up for re-election as Parksville-Qualicum MLA, though she says B.C. did not need an early election.

“This is a desperate attempt from John Horgan to cling to power…” Stilwell said. “It’s certainly not something that people need right now. They need to be focused on recovery and safety during the pandemic.”

She suggested the premier’s decision to end the confidence and supply agreement with the B.C. Greens shows he can’t be trusted. She noted that the government’s recently announced $1.5-billion pandemic recovery plan has been shown to have been “a campaign springboard” when the government could have started with some of that recovery spending months earlier.

“One thing that the B.C. Liberals have that’s our strong point is coming up with a plan and following through on a plan. What the NDP have done for the past several months, as it’s turned out, is plan an election instead of planning for the future of British Columbians,” Stilwell said. “I believe we can restore that confidence.”

She said her party will be trying to communicate that, as well as trying to get across its vision of how a rebuild would look under a B.C. Liberal government.

With no other candidates announced so far in Parksville-Qualicum, Stilwell, a Paralympic gold medallist, said her competitive experience tells her to focus on what she can control, which is getting out there and engaging with voters.

She expects debates and other campaign events will look different during a pandemic. Stilwell’s campaign team will use a 24-seat bus as a mobile campaign office where she can set up meet-and-greets with appropriate health and safety protocols.

Stilwell expressed confidence that Elections B.C. will do the best it can to hold an election safely, but she has already identified voting issues that could pose problems.

“With an aging demographic, I have big concerns about the ability for my senior population to call in to Elections B.C., request their ballot, have it mailed to them, fill it out accordingly, correctly so they don’t spoil it,” she said. “It’s just far more complicated.”

Stilwell has served as MLA since 2013 and was formerly B.C.’s minister for social development and social innovation.

The B.C. NDP and B.C. Greens have not yet announced a candidate in Parksville-Qualicum.

In the Nanaimo riding, the NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson is the only confirmed candidate.

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Doug Routley, NDP incumbent and Duck Paterson of the B.C. Liberals. The B.C. Greens are set to announce Chris Istace as the candidate in that riding on Sunday, Sept. 27.

The provincial election is Oct. 24.

READ ALSO: Nanimo parents say elementary schools not appropriate voting stations

READ ALSO: Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
RDN Transit has sights set on busing to Cowichan Valley by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in the budget

Parking decals for motorcycles owned by riders with disabilities are now available from the Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Motorcycle decals now available in Nanaimo for disabled riders

Limited number of decals now available from the Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre

Ceramic artist Teresa Dorey with some of the pieces from her upcoming exhibition, ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Ceramic artist explores ideas around empathy and touch in Nanaimo exhibition

Montreal’s Teresa Dorey presents ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Multi-disciplinary Snuneymuxw artist named ‘Emerging Cultural Leader’

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Most Read