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BC Liberal Candidate: The BC Liberals Ignore Nanaimo Because Nanaimo Doesn’t Vote for the BC Liberals

BC Liberal candidate Tony Harris was maybe a little too honest for his own good during a recent CBC Radio interview

Tony Harris, the BC Liberal candidate for the upcoming Nanaimo by-election, may have been a little too honest during a recent interview about the reasons for his party’s track record in Nanaimo.

During an all-candidates’ interview earlier this month on ‘The Coast’,  CBC Radio’s Gloria Macarenko referenced Harris’ claim the BC NDP has been “taking Nanaimo for granted,” before pointing out that the BC Liberals ruled the province for 16 years prior to the last provincial election.

Macarenko asked BC Liberal candidate: “what should your own party have been doing for Nanaimo during the 16 years the Liberals were the governing party?”

In response, Harris claimed Nanaimo has been “taken for granted” by “all parties,” namely his own, before suggesting it’s only “natural” a party like the BC Liberals would neglect a place like Nanaimo because “there’s not a lot of hope to win”:

“It’s more of a systemic issue of Nanaimo being taken for granted by, you know, all parties, when whoever’s in power because Nanaimo tends to always vote the same way. I think it’s a natural outcome unfortunately, but, you know, when one party thinks there’s not a lot of hope to win in an area and the other party thinks it’s a slam-dunk, whoever’s in power ends up looking over that place.”

Nanaimo has voted for the BC NDP in all but two provincial elections since 1966. During that time, the last BC Liberal government was accused of ignoring critical issues in Nanaimo, including:

  • A 2013 report that indicated Nanaimo’s Intensive Care Unit was “by far the worst” in Canada. (The NDP government recently announced plans to have a new ICU built by 2021.)
  • Real estate speculation, which resulted in skyrocketing housing costs in Nanaimo.
  • Multiple school closures in the Nanaimo and Ladysmith area


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