The NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson won the by-election in Nanaimo on Jan. 30. (File photo)

Cowichan leaders hopeful with Malcolmson’s Nanaimo by-election win

Political stability seen as important to getting work done

Leaders in the Cowichan Valley are pleased with the political stability in the province that the election of the NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson in Nanaimo will likely bring.

Doug Routley, NDP MLA for Nanaimo/North Cowichan, said the by-election on Jan. 30 was seen by many as a referendum on the provincial government.

RELATED STORY: MALCOLMSON VOTED IN AS NANAIMO’S NEXT MLA

He said that with Malcolmson’s win in the riding, he and the NDP “feel validated” with the decisions and directions the government has taken since it was elected in May, 2017.

Routley said he went door-to-door in Nanaimo with Malcolmson during the campaign and heard many people tell them they were happy that MSP Premiums have been reduced by 50 per cent for all British Columbians, child-care subsidies have been increased, and affordable-housing issues in Nanaimo were being addressed, among other issues, since the NDP formed government.

RELATED STORY: DOUG ROUTLEY SAYS GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO RAILWAY

“We heard so many things that matter to people by going door-to-door, and we were left feeling upbeat about the work this government is doing,” Routley said.

“The government will now move forward with the project of governing B.C.”

Malcolmson took 49 per cent of the vote in the by-election, while her nearest competitor, Tony Harris, garnered 40 per cent.

The balance in the province’s legislature was at stake in the by-election.

The governing NDP currently maintains a slim minority with the confidence of the B.C. Green Party, but one more Liberal seat would have drawn that party even, which could have led to the fall of the government in a no-confidence vote.

Al Siebring, mayor of North Cowichan, said Malcolmson’s win in the by-election means that another provincial election won’t likely be called anytime soon so, from the perspective of local governments, it gives them a longer horizon to deal with ongoing issues with the present provincial government.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN’S NEW MAYOR READY TO BRING CHANGE

“We’re in the process of working out long-term commitments from this provincial government on such issues as affordable housing, so having the government stable without having to worry about an election call is a positive development,” Siebring said.

Ian Morrison, chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, agreed with Siebring that the fact that B.C. is not “on edge for going to the polls” anytime soon, is very important to local governments.

RELATED STORY: IAN MORRISON NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

“We need stability in the province in order to get some very important work done here,” Morrison said.

“We’ve embarked on a transportation study, and other work, in the CVRD that also involve the province, so all this is not at risk by the fall of the government. As well, the people of Nanaimo are blessed with a dedicated and hard-working public servant in Sheila.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Unplowed Roads parody song destined to be a classic

Move over Weird Al, Island elementary students on the same level

North Cowichan to pause all logging in forest reserve for 2019

Municipality expects decision to cause $150,000 shorfall this year

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

Sound of Music echoes with a surprising amount of cool

Chemainus Theatre review: my teenage self didn’t know what he was missing

Robert Barron column: Thanks to municipal workers during snow storm

I’ve always wondered how anything gets done when mounds of snow fall from the sky.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

B.C. pot giant Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

Most Read