Sheila Malcolmson intending to run for MLA seat in Nanaimo

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Wednesday, October 31 2018

Sheila Malcolmson announced this past week she will seek the BC NDP nomination for the upcoming by-election in Nanaimo.

Malcolmson currently sits as the Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP and is a resident of Gabriola.

Prior to entering federal politics, she was a four-term Trustee for the Gabriola Local Trust Area and in her final term served as Chair of the Islands Trust.

The by-election is coming as a result of the current Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog being elected as the next Mayor of Nanaimo in the October 20 local government elections.

Malcomson said making the move was a tough decision. This will be the first time since 2002 she is looking to be elected to represent an area that does not include Gabriola, Mudge or DeCourcy islands.

Krog’s riding does not include Gabriola, the three islands are included within the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding represented by NDP MLA Doug Routley.

Malcolmson said that won’t mean she isn’t working on issues that are important to island residents - and she said she’s been getting a lot of encouragement from her friends and neighbours of the past 25 years.

“It’s still going to be a base of influence and activism. I’ve learned countless things from islanders and will continue to do so.”

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson with BC Premier John Horgan. Photo courtesy Sheila Malcolmson

If elected, Malcolmson will be joining a government which already includes Transportation Minister Claire Trevena who resides on Quadra Island.

Malcolmson said if she’s elected it might be the first time a provincial government includes two MLAs who reside on islands linked to the rest of BC by minor ferry routes.

“I can only imagine that will have an impact.”

The by-election stands to be a hotly contested one by the BC NDP and BC Liberals, as a win for the Liberals would give them 43 seats in the legislature.

Currently the Liberals have 42; the BC NDP have 41 (including Krog’s soon-to-be-vacated seat); the BC Green Party has three; and there is a lone independent, Daryl Plecas, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. Forty-four are needed for a majority, but a win in Nanaimo would mean the Liberals would tie the combined seats of the BC NDP and BC Green Party.

Standing with Premier John Horgan as well as current MLA and Mayor-Elect Leonard Krog, Malcolmson said she is committed to continuing Krog’s record of service to the constituency.

“I love working for the people of Nanaimo.”

 

She added, “As an MLA in the John Horgan government, I intend to get results for people on key issues like affordable housing, protecting our coast from oil spills, and improving healthcare and education for people in this community.”

Krog said Malcolmson has what it takes to win the by-election and deliver results to the people of Nanaimo.

 “I have seen Sheila in action. She is dedicated, hard-working, and deeply committed to the people of Nanaimo.

“I look forward to the opportunity to work with Sheila as an MLA.”

Having worked at a local level as Trustee, at a regional level as Trust Chair, and at a federal level as MP, Malcolmson certainly has the experience to cross the jurisdictional barriers if elected into provincial office.

And in Nanaimo, she would be working with a new Mayor of Nanaimo, as well as essentially new City Council and a new Regional District of Nanaimo Board.

“Any senior government that relies on the deeply informed work of the regional and local governments - it makes their work easier. And I know better than most how much further we can get ahead, whether it was me as an MP or MLA, if I work in cooperation and reinforce the work coming out of the local representatives. I really look forward to drawing on that, especially with a Nanaimo City Council and a new RDN Board that have got an exciting and fresh and progressive mandate. It is exciting to look at. Especially Mayor-Elect Leonard Krog.”

Currently, Malcolmson will continue to sit as the full-time MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, until the House of Commons rises for the holiday break on December 14.

After that, she believes the nomination process will begin to choose the NDP candidates.

The by-election would begin in January - at which point she would resign as MP. The vote is expected to be in late January/early February. For those who live in Malcolmson’s federal riding, there is no expectation of a by-election prior to the October 2019 federal election.

Malcolmson said her resignation will come too close for there to be a by-election.

During the interim, the Office (and staff) of the Speaker of the House of Commons will provide those individual services that people would normally get through the staff of their MP.