UPDATE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced Feb. 25 as the byelection date for three vacant electoral districts; Burnaby South, York-Simcoe in Ontario and Outremont in Quebec. Nanaimo was not mentioned in the announcement.
Trudeau’s announcement comes a day after Elections Canada announced that a byelection is required to choose a new member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith. The Prime Minister did not mention Nanaimo in his announcement.
POSTED TUESDAY: A byelection is required to choose a new member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, says Elections Canada.
Elections Canada announced Tuesday that a byelection will take place in the riding, though no date has been announced and may not be announced.
The Elections Canada press release indicated that the byelection date must be announced between Jan. 18 and July 6, with the byelection to be held at least 36 days after it is announced.
“Therefore, the earliest date that the Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election can be held is Monday, Feb. 25,” noted the press release.
The Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding is vacant because former MP Sheila Malcolmson resigned to pursue the MLA seat in the provincial Nanaimo riding.
“I timed my resignation so that we would have the lowest chance of triggering a federal byelection, but it is still up to the federal Liberal government to decide whether we have one or not,” she said.
She noted that Tom Mulcair’s Outremont riding has been without an MP since June, adding, “I think we can extrapolate from that that there being a vacancy does not force a government to call the byelection.”
Tony Harris, B.C. Liberal candidate, issued a statement Tuesday saying that “NDP games” could cost taxpayers with potentially two byelections.
“Since it was known Leonard Krog was likely to run for mayor of our city, the B.C. NDP were working behind the scenes to ensure their federal friend and insider, Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson, would vacate her federal post and move into the provincial job – potentially triggering a costly federal byelection,” he said.
Malcolmson responded, saying “people of all political stripes encouraged Leonard very strongly to step up as the mayor at city hall.” Harris introduced Krog at the latter’s mayoral campaign launch last spring.
The Conservative Party of Canada has chosen John Hirst as its candidate in Nanaimo-Ladysmith and the People’s Party of Canada recently chose Jennifer Clarke as its candidate. The federal Liberals, NDP and Green Party do not have candidates in place.
Nanaimo voters are going to the polls in a provincial byelection Jan. 30.