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Nanaimo by-election a minefield for John Horgan’s NDP government. A loss, or lack of Green Party support in its aftermath, could lead to the government’s defeat, and an early provincial election

Former NDP MLA, now Mayor of
Nanaimo, Leonard Krogg

Premier John Horgan has called a byelection for the Nanaimo electoral district, following stepping down of NDP MLA Leonard Krogg – Krogg was elected as Mayor of Nanaimo on October 20th.

Current NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson will be running for the provincial NDP, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson anointed ... ooops I mean appointed ... Tony Harris, Michelle Ney (daughter of the late Frank Ney, who served as the Mayor of Nanaimo for 21 years) was selected in a contested nomination race for the Green Party.  The BC Conservative Party announced on December 21st that they will be contesting the Nanaimo by-election, and will be announcing a candidate shortly.

With the NDP currently holding the reins of government with 41 seats, and propped up by the 3 MLA’s of Andrew Weavers Green Party, he has a combined total of 44 MLA’s to the BC Liberals 42.  That means a lot is on the line for John Horgan’s NDP government.

If Sheila Malcolmson should fail to win the January 30th Nanaimo byelection – and Tony Harris win, that will leave his combined total of 43 combine NDP / Green seats equal to the BC Liberals.  His government could only service IF House speaker Darryl Plecas cast tie-breaking votes in favour of Horgan on all legislative votes that ended in a tie.  

Furthermore, if the Green Party ended up in a situation where they could NOT support NDP legislation, it could then also lead to the government’s defeat, forcing an early election. But, here’s another thought.

A short time ago, former Liberal MLA John Les said to me, that it would be awesome
to flip that seat! And of course, his meaning of that was to the Liberals. 

My question to him however was; “If the BC Conservative Party was to win the Nanaimo by-election, then they would be better able to keep the Liberals accountable”.

I continued, “I am guessing you are basically small 'c' conservative in nature, so why wouldn't you want to see the provincial Liberals be more accountable to the people of BC?” 

That is still the question I put out there for all to consider – especially to the thousands of small ‘c’ conservatives who have basically not had a home to be part of, and were only supporting the BC Liberals because of that. 

Candidate nominations may be filed with the Chief Electoral Officer until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 4, 2019. After this time, they may be filed with the Nanaimo District Electoral Officer, up to the deadline on January 9.  Those consider letting their name stand for election, can find out more at 

As to who can vote in the January 30th by-election?  The Election BC website states that individuals will need to be:

... a resident of the Nanaimo electoral district,

... 18 or older on January 30, 2019,

... a Canadian citizen, and, a resident of B.C. since July 29, 2018

Residents not already on the voters list can register to vote in the by-election here until midnight January 2, 2019. After that, eligible voters can only register in person at locations where voting will take place.

Stay tuned ... we’ll keep you posted with news on how the parties are fairly, in the race to win that all important Nanaimo by-election. And for more information on key dates in the run-up to the election, check Election BC at 

I’m Alan Forseth in Kamloops.  If you have any thoughts on this commentary, please share them below in the Comments Section.



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