BLACK PRESS file photo

Editorial: Federal byelection, if it happens, is no reason for voter fatigue

If indeed a byelection is called to choose a Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP, we might as well embrace it

The idea of a second 2019 byelection, this time for Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP, is unpalatable to some. But it wouldn’t be all bad.

Nanaimo citizens have been asked to cast a lot of ballots of late, with a provincial byelection Jan. 30 next up. It’s almost always campaign season around here.

However, a federal byelection this spring is no certainty. Though Elections Canada announced last week that a byelection was required, there was no date announced, and it could simply get rolled into the general election Oct. 21, we’re told.

The federal government’s Bill C-76 to amend the Canada Elections Act just received royal assent last month, and it contains new law around the timing of byelections, keeping them at least nine months from regularly scheduled elections. The Prime Minister’s Office says the PM didn’t want to announce a byelection in Nanaimo yet in order to avoid confusion, and probably, voter fatigue is a consideration. On top of all those reasons, it’s ultimately the prime minister’s call, and a vote in Nanaimo is unlikely to give the federal Liberals much of a red wave heading toward October.

So there’s a lot to suggest that a federal byelection won’t happen in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. If it does indeed get called, though, there’s reason to embrace it.

We’ve seen in recent months a series of provincial funding announcements around social housing, health care and more. There’s a likelihood a federal byelection may happen to coincide with new federal funding for projects in the region.

While it’s easy to say byelections are costly, it’s all Canadian taxpayers, not only the ones in the riding, who would be paying for it.

And byelections can result in hyper-local campaigns with local candidates in the spotlight rather than the party leaders.

A lot of times, politics seem to happen far away. Any chance we have to bridge that disconnect, make a decision at ballot box here in Nanaimo and gain representation is an opportunity. If it happens, we can make the most of it.

Just Posted

Theatre production reimagines the music of Joni Mitchell

Arts Club theatre company presents ‘Circle Game’ at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre this week

Realtor from Nanaimo named president of real estate board

Kaye Broens becomes president of Vancouver Island Real Estate Board

Nanaimo gymnasts finish first all-around at competitions

Nanaimo Gymnastics School athletes had winning results at mainland events

Case against former Nanaimo CAO Tracy Samra expected to be dropped

B.C. Prosecution Service tells those involved with case that they won’t be required in court

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tax breaks would encourage construction of apartments

Re: Apartment construction up during start of 2019

High temperatures in Nanaimo break century-old records

Maximum high on Sunday edged out a temperature record that had stood since 1892

Cougar on Island might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Most Read