Residents will be casting their votes on Monday, October 21, 2019. We invited local candidates to tell our readers about themselves. We also asked them if elected, what one issue do you believe you could accomplish in your term?
Candidates Jennifer Clarke, People’s Party of Canada, and Brian Marlatt, Progressive Canadian Party, did not respond by press time.
On Oct. 2, 2019, it’s the All Candidates Meeting at the Aggie Hall, 6pm-6:45, Meet and greet, 7pm to 9pm, Candidates Meeting. Hosted by the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce.
Bob Chamberlin, NDP candidate
Bob grew up in Nanaimo, often trying the patience of the teachers at Park Avenue Elementary, John Barsby and NDSS. He lives in Nanaimo with his partner, Melissa, and has one son. Bob has an extensive career advancing human rights and environmental issues, which has taken him across the country and internationally. In his 14 years of political leadership, Bob has fought for housing, safe drinking water, wild fish and aquaculture and Indigenous rights.
The NDP created the health care system that we are all proud of as Canadians – however, we didn’t finish the dream. If I were to accomplish one thing in the NDP platform, it would be extending universal health coverage from the head to toe, cradle to grave. It is outrageous that many Canadians can’t afford the medicine they need to keep them alive.
We need a national pharmacare plan now. The NDP plan would save families more than $500 a year even if they already have insurance – and would save the country $4.2 billion.
I also don’t understand how health coverage somehow stops at our mouths. The NDP plans to include dental care in the Canada Health Act. Nobody should have to get fleeced instead of flossed!
Dr. Michelle Corfield, Liberal candidate
Michelle is the CEO of Corfield & Associates, the Executive in Residence at Simon Fraser University and the Marine training advisor for Camosun College. Michelle has served on the boards of more than a dozen organizations and societies, including the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Nanaimo Port Authority. She has authored six Economic Development Toolkits and an Environmental Assessment Toolkit. She holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Management degree, a Masters of Conflict Analysis and Management degree, and a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies.
I believe as the elected Member of Parliament, I will work tirelessly on the environment, economic, and social issues that affect the constituents of Nanaimo–Ladysmith. This includes working cooperatively across party lines to advance the priorities determined by my constituents. It will be a priority to work with provincial, municipal and indigenous governments to leverage and advance the federal government’s investments.
For our ageing population, I will advocate increasing the investment for our senior supports, such as home care, pharmacare and guaranteed income supplement. For our working-class population, I will ensure that affordable housing options in the Nanaimo–Ladysmith area are a priority.
John Hirst, Conservative Party candidate
For years, John has been serving his community with groups like Gyro and Young Professionals of Nanaimo. The opportunity to serve as our MP would allow him to have a bigger impact on our community. Like so many people in our community, he is frustrated with lack of effective voice in Ottawa and the absence of real results in our community.
Affordability is a major concern for voters in Nanaimo–Ladysmith. More than half of Canadians say they are living pay check to pay check and within our riding the individual median income is only $32K a year. We need a new government that puts people first. That is why the Conservatives policy on tax free maternity leave, taking the GST off of home-heating and cancelling $1.5B in corporate welfare to put money back in the pockets of Canadians is so important for our community. More than 80 per cent of middle-income families are paying $800 more in taxes every year since Justin Trudeau came into power. Trudeau has hiked taxes on small business owners and ended tax credits that made things like dance lessons and transit passes more affordable. Under a new Conservative Government, we will introduce a universal tax cut which will cut income taxes for every Canadian. The Universal Tax Cut will save the average Canadian family over $850 per year on their income taxes after a Conservative Government reduces the rate of the lowest-income tax bracket.
Paul Manly, Green Party candidate
Paul is the second Green MP elected in Canada. Paul was a small business owner with extensive experience in film and television. His documentaries on community watershed protection, international trade deals, food security, First Nations language and health care have raised awareness and influenced government policy. Before being elected Paul coordinated employment skills training programs at Nanaimo Foodshare.
The climate crisis is threatening any possibility of a liveable future for our children and grandchildren. Political bickering is the biggest roadblock preventing us from taking the necessary steps to protect them.
The Green Party platform calls for the establishment of a cross-party “survival” cabinet. The mandate of that cabinet is to (1) ensure that Canada does its part to limit global warming to a level we can survive, and (2) mitigate the impacts of climate change on Canadians.
I will continue to work hard forging cross-party relationships and to foster collaboration beyond the boundaries of party affiliations. The time for politics as usual is over. No party can do this alone. It’s all hands on deck and nothing short of a redefinition of what is possible will do.
And if we succeed, imagine how our ability to work together would transform housing policy, healthcare and education.