All of British Columbia will be watching Nanaimo voters closely this week to see if we make the right decision when we go to the polls.
The great thing about democracy is that the people get it right, one way or the other – we just don’t know yet what that looks like.
A provincial byelection to choose Nanaimo’s next MLA happens tomorrow, Jan. 30. The vote is necessary due to a series of events that have rippled across all levels of politics in the region. We voted for a new mayor, at some point later this year we’ll vote for a new MP, and in the meantime, we’re choosing a provincial representative.
Our choice could have repercussions affecting the stability of B.C.’s minority NDP government. We’ve been hearing all along that this is a high-stakes byelection – some say it’s the most important byelection ever, and it’s up to each citizen to decide if that’s hyperbole or not. We might argue that it is, but only because every election, as it happens, is the most important at that time. All governments aren’t the same. Each of the candidates on the ballot tomorrow will represent Nanaimo differently – they have different personalities, skill sets and interests, and the parties they represent have a range of visions for B.C.
There’s no reason to think this byelection won’t be closely contested. We urge you to vote.
Anyone 18 and older who is a Canadian citizen, lives in the Nanaimo riding and has lived in B.C. for at least six months is eligible to vote. Polling stations are open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at Alliance Church, 1609 Meredith Rd.; Beban Park social centre, 2300 Bowen Rd.; Bowen Park activity centre, 500 Bowen Rd.; Departure Bay Activity Centre, 1415 Wingrove St.; Departure Bay Baptist Church, 3510 Departure Bay Rd.; Fairview Community School, 205 Howard Ave.; Hammond Bay Elementary School, 1025 Morningside Dr.; Nanaimo District Electoral Office, 65 Front St.; Nanaimo Christian School, 198 Holland Rd.; Nanaimo Yacht Club, 400 Newcastle Ave.; Protection Island Fire Hall, 26 Pirates Lane; Uplands Park Elementary School, 3821 Stronach Dr.; and Wellington Hall, 3922 Corunna Ave.