No vote will be required for Sheila Malcolmson to become the provincial NDP candidate for the Nanaimo riding.
The nomination meeting, set for Sunday, Dec. 16, will now be a confirmation meeting as no one else put their names forward by the deadline. Malcolmson said the riding association’s members have been advised.
“That will now be a nomination celebration, not a vote,” Malcolmson said, adding that it makes her feel supported. “You’ll remember when I ran for the federal nomination there were seven candidates, then five; it was very hotly contested. So this will be a very different meeting for me.”
B.C. Premier John Horgan announced in late October that Malcolmson would be seeking the NDP nomination for Nanaimo. Horgan hasn’t yet announced a byelection date for the seat vacated by Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog.
In the meantime, Malcolmson is winding down her work as Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP. She has filed her resignation with the Speaker of the House in Ottawa and while her resignation is effective Jan. 2, her last day in Parliament will be Friday, Dec. 14, and she will not be taking an MP paycheque after that day.
Her Nanaimo office on Dunsmuir Street will remain open, but in the new year it will no longer be associated with her and will run under the office of the Speaker of the House, Malcolmson said. Aside from missing an MP, the constituency office will provide the same services.
“Old-age security, disability, pension, challenges with the immigration system, any kind of paperwork, family reunification, Canada Child Benefit, any of those things, that office will continue to be helping them with the same phone number and the same address,” Malcolmson said.
She said the federal NDP caucus, with its stronghold of MPs on Vancouver Island, is “an amazing group of people” and she said it will be exciting to watch leader Jagmeet Singh, whom she called a strong campaigner, bring optimistic messages in the federal election in 10 months’ time. As for Malcolmson’s three years as MP, she said she’s proud of her work on abandoned vessels, oil spill prevention and affordable housing and the relationships and partnerships that were formed.
“I leave the MP work being really proud of the work that we did together and really grateful for the opportunity,” she said.
It’s unknown whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will call a byelection for the federal Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding.
“The window is very narrow for him to call it this coming winter. It’s really hard to tell right now what the strategy is,” Malcolmson said.
In the provincial byelection, the NDP’s Malcolmson will be running against B.C. Liberal Party candidate Tony Harris. Harris was announced as his party’s intended candidate in early November and then confirmed by membership in mid-November. The B.C. Green Party will be holding a nomination contest Saturday, Dec. 15, to decide between Michele Ney and Duane Nickull as the candidate.