Nanaimo could be an election battleground



This will be the first election in some time that Nanaimo will be represented by one MP.

Another silly season is upon us.

It’s not the weather – there’s nothing silly about double-digit temperatures and clear, blue skies in winter. We take that quite seriously.

The third visit in less than a year by the country’s leader of the Official Opposition, plus visits from the party’s critics signals that Nanaimo is a riding that the NDP is focused on winning in the fall when the expected federal election is called.

The NDP has had its candidate, former Islands Trust chairwoman Sheila Malcolmson, in place for months. As has the Conservative Party, picking former Daily News editor Mark MacDonald, and the Green Party, which announced filmmaker and activist Paul Manly as its candidate in Nanaimo.

Except for the Liberal Party, the major pieces are assembled for the showdown later this year in Nanaimo. And one of the furthest ridings from the seat of power is shaping up to be a major battleground.

This will be the first election in some time that Nanaimo will be represented by one MP; previously, the region sent the NDP’s Jean Crowder to represent Nanaimo-Cowichan and the Tories’ James Lunney from Nanaimo-Alberni. Neither are running again.

The new riding stretches from the Cowichan Valley to just north of Lantzville.

Tommy Douglas, one of history’s greatest Canadians, held the Nanaimo-Cowichan seat for a decade. It would seem to be a safe seat for the NDP, but for a surging Green Party, whose popular leader Elizabeth May has made several appearances over the years – including a memorable stop which saw her call staff in the prime minister’s office “ruthless, cutthroat psychopaths.”

A Green Party win in such an historic seat for the NDP is not a story the Dippers would like to see.

It’s going to be a long, exhausting campaign for all of us. Malcolmson has made appearances at local governments, including Regional District of Nanaimo, touting her predecessor’s private member’s bill to deal with derelict vessels. Manly was scheduled to be at Nanaimo city council last night to argue for increased protection for the region’s watershed. We might not have heard from MacDonald yet, but I’m sure the Tory war machine is in operational mode behind the scenes.

We could see a Conservative MP in the region; Lunney held the seat in Parksville since 2000, and prior to that, the region has been represented by some incarnation of the Conservative Party since 1984. Not only that, but as the NDP and the Green Party divide up the progressive vote on the centre-left, it leaves a gaping hole for the Tories to slide right into.

Then again, Trudeaumania 2.0 might hit the left coast before the summer is out.

So how will this all play out? Well, I ran the scenarios through my Magic 8-ball (crystal is a little outside of a reporter’s pay range) and the answer kept coming up “reply hazy – try again later.”

I’ll see you on the hustings.

editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes are off to a fast start this season after no competition last season due to the pandemic. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo athletes back on track, starting with club competitions

Nanaimo Track and Field Club registration filled up

A conceptual rendering of a commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith image)
Commercial plaza in north end of Ladysmith passes public hearing

Councillors debate proposed land use at 1130 Rocky Creek Rd.

The Nanaimo sign at Maffeo Sutton Park could be hazardous for children, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo sign will cause falls

Children can’t resist climbing on sign, says letter writer

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomy by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read