Where to vote

Nanaimo
Alliance Church
Beacon House
Beban Park Social Centre
Bowen Park Auditorium

Departure Bay Activity Centre
Departure Bay Baptist Church
Fairview Comm School
Hammond Bay Elem School
Nanaimo Yacht Club
Royal Canadian Legion 256
Rutherford Elem School
Wellington Hall

Nanaimo-North Cowichan
Aggie Hall - Royal Canadian Air Cadets 
Bayview Elem School 
Cedar Comm Hall
Chase River Elem School 
Cowichan Exhibition 
Cranberry Comm Hall 
Crofton Comm Centre 
Gabriola Island Comm Centre 
Georgia Avenue Elem School 
North Oyster Elem School 
Penelakut Band Office
Royal Canadian Legion 191 
S'tzuminus First Nation Comm Centre 
Salvation Army
Thetis Island Fire Hall

Parksville Qualicum
Christian Fellowship Centre
Costin Hall
Craig St Commons Gym
Dover Bay Sec School
Lasqueti Comm Hall
Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre
Nanaimo North Town Centre
Nanoose Place
Parksville Comm & Conf Centre 
Qualicum Beach Civic Centre 

Strong turnout continues in mid-Island advance voting

October 19

Voters in the mid-Island continue to cast their ballots at advance polls with Parksville-Qualicum leading the way with 7,150 casting votes in the first four days, 14.8 per cent of the total eligible voters.

Nanaimo-North Cowichan had 6,259 ballots cast for 13.6 per cent while in Nanaimo there were 5,570 votes for 11.6 per cent of eligible voters. As of Monday night, 383,477 British Columbians had voted and 700,000 had requested mail-in ballots.

Advance voters must have valid identification, such as a driver’s license, along with their Voter Card which they got in the mail. Masks are encouraged but not mandatory. More information can be found on the Elections BC website.

Nanaimo

  • Alliance Church (Meredith St.) – Oct 19 and 21
  • Beban Park Social Centre (Bowen Rd.) – Oct. 15 and 16
  • Departure Bay Baptist Church (Departure Bay Rd.) – Oct. 20 and 21
  • Fairview Community School (Howard Ave.) – Oct. 17 and 18
  • Royal Canadian Legion 256 (East Wellington Rd.) – Oct.15 to 18
  • Rutherford Elementary School (Hammond Bay Rd.) – Open seven days

Nanaimo-North Cowichan

  • Aggie Hall (1st Ave.) – Open seven days
  • Cowichan Exhibition (Hwy. 1) – Oct. 19 and 21
  • Cranberry Community Hall (Musgrave St.) – Oct. 15 to 18
  • Crofton Community Centre (Morden Rd.) – Oct. 15 to 17
  • Gabriola Island Community Centre – Oct. 17 to 19
  • Royal Canadian Legion 191 (Chemainus Rd.) – Open seven days
  • Salvation Army (Eighth St.) – Oct. 15 to 17 and Oct. 19 to 21

Parksville-Qualicum

  • Christian Fellowship Centre (Village Way) – Oct. 15 to 17 and Oct. 19 to 21
  • Nanaimo North Town Centre (Rutherford Rd.) – Open seven days
  • Parksville Community Centre (Jensen Ave. E) – Open seven days

Vancouver Island Greens to hold web townhall Thursday

1020 – Green party candidates running in mid, north and west Vancouver Island ridings will hold a Townhall on Zoom Thursday evening at 7 p.m. The Zoom Townhall will give voters who register for the event the opportunity to ask candidates about issues specific to their ridings as well as how they will incorporate these issues into the Green Party platform. 

The number of undecided voters is higher than normal even at this stage of the campaign, reflecting uncertainty about whether the NDP deserve a majority government. 

This townhall will give all Vancouver Island voters, primarily outside greater Victoria, the opportunity to make a more informed decision. 

The candidates attending are:

Alexandra Morton, North Island
Gillian Anderson, Courtenay Comox
Evan Joliceour, Mid Island Pacific Rim
Rob Lyon, Parksville Qualicum
Lia Versaevel, Nanaimo
Chris Istace, Nanaimo North Cowichan 

Thursday, October 22, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Register in advance for this meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpd-mvrTsjH9xNWQ9krKF8ak-LEvvyHI2y After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For more information, contact Lex Dunn, Nanaimo, at 250-920-8922

The Fickle Finger of Fate points back at NDP

1019 - Finger pointing has always been a big part of election campaigns, and this one is no different. For three years the BC Liberals kept hammering at John Horgan. Virtually every utterance from the party found a way to include a negative jab at Horgan.

The NDP were quiet on that tactic, until the election was called. Now it’s a merciless attack on Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson to the point they were telling him which candidates were acceptable to remain in the race for the Liberals.

There were three instances where the NDP disagreed with the political stance of Liberal candidates. One of those espoused what many would consider far-out views on birth control while the others had in the past opposed rainbow sidewalks. It was more of a morality lecture.

There was high indignation from the NDP – Wilkinson must remove those candidates, as they were unacceptable according to NDP standards. Why should the NDP demand their removal? One would think it would be advantageous to have them remain on the ballot so the voters could make that determination.

As was the case on the TV show “Laugh-in”, the fickle finger of fate has a habit of biting back. When you point fingers, you should keep in mind that three of your own fingers are pointing right back at you. Therefore it was rather rich that Horgan would be in the crosshairs over one of his own candidates, veteran Nathan Cullen, who derided and belittled a First Nations candidate in a northern riding. 

The NDP rejected the nomination bid of an Indigenous woman in favor of Cullen, contrary to party policy which required that a woman or other minority representative be the next candidate. 

With only a few days left in the campaign, would it be too much to expect both parties to focus on what they can do for the people of this province rather than throwing darts at each other? Recent polls show the NDP has the backing of about half of decided voters, the Liberals have around one-third support and the Greens just over 10 per cent. 

Going out on a limb, it looks very much like an NDP majority – somewhere around NDP 54, Liberal 31, Green 2 with a little wiggle room between the two leading parties. And when the dust settles – we’ve been told that could be more than two weeks until we know the final result – we are likely to have the same three MLAs in the mid-Island.

Also, see Vaughn Palmer's comments.

Horgan commits to cancer centres in Nanaimo and Kamloops

Premier John Horgan

Nanaimo will be home to one of two cancer centres promised this morning by Premier John Horgan.

Horgan says a re-elected BC NDP government will work with BC Cancer and health authorities to launch a 10-year cancer action plan. His plan will add new cancer centres in Nanaimo and Kamloops, bringing care closer to home for people in the Interior and on Vancouver Island. 

 
“A cancer diagnosis has touched nearly every family, including my own,” said Horgan. “Under our plan, British Columbians will receive better care that’s closer to home as they go through their cancer journey." 
 
Horgan’s plan will ensure patients get care when they need it, where they need it. It will invest in dedicated teams providing a full continuum of care, and new equipment to deliver leading-edge prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment services. Horgan warned investments like this would be at risk under the BC Liberal plan. 
 
The 10-year plan builds off of work the government has begun to improve cancer care in BC, including Canada’s first lung cancer early detection screening program and adding regional cancer centres in Surrey and Burnaby. 
 
Horgan’s 10 year cancer plan will deliver results in just five years: 

Patients will have one point of contact across their cancer care journey. 

New clinicians will be hired to meet demand. 

Entire families will be offered genomic testing. 

Better patient outcomes from more uptake of innovative prevention & treatment services. 

Improved access to care in rural communities. 

Existing cancer centres will be renovated and upgraded. 

Liberals would end car insurance monopoly

Andrew Wilkinson

1007 – The BC Liberal Party says it will open up car insurance to the private market if elected in the provincial election.

Leader Andrew Wilkinson says the current ICBC model will remain available to drivers, but private insurers will also be able to offer coverage for vehicle damage and injuries.

“The ICBC monopoly is a failure and it’s time to offer drivers cheaper rates — that’s what competition will do and that’s what the BC Liberals will deliver,” he said Tuesday. MORE 

Greens dangle free child care and four-day work week

Sonia Furstenau

1007 – The BC Green party is offering free child care and a look into a four-day work week. Leader Sonia Furstenau says child care would be free for children under three and free early childhood education for three- and four-year-olds. She says the plan would also have financial support for stay-at-home parents of $350 a month.

She is also proposing that the government launch a consultation process with business and labour to explore a four-day work week, saying there are a number of tools the government can use to help employers shift to a shorter week. FULL STORY

Premier offers a thousand bucks per household if elected

John Horgan

1007 – The NDP says it would directly deposit $1,000 to households with incomes under $125,000, $500 for single individuals with incomes under $62,000. In addition, they will provide free transit passes for children 12 and under. Other promises include a rent freeze until 2022 and an annual $400 renter’s rebate.

“This is for people with a family income of $125,000 or individuals with an income of about $62,500 a year thousand dollars,” said NDP leader John Horgan.

“We have three basic priorities, better healthcare for you and your family, affordability and security in your home, and in your community. And good jobs and livelihoods in a clean energy future,” said Premier John Horgan said.

The party’s platform includes 154 commitments, many are previously announced. But the biggest is worth $1.4 billion. MORE

Horgan promises free coronavirus vaccine when approved

Premier John Horgan

1006 – Premier John Horgan has committed to provide a free coronavirus vaccine to British Columbians who wants one — once a vaccine is approved and available. “We have worked hard to keep people healthy and safe through the pandemic,” said Horgan. “The difficult times are not over yet, because the virus will be with us for the foreseeable future. But once there is a safe and approved vaccine, we will ensure every British Columbian can get one.”

B.C. Greens would spend $1B to fund mental health care under MSP
The B.C. Green party would spend $1 billion over four years to incorporate mental health care into the province's public health insurance program, if elected. 

Liberals double down on promise to pause Surrey's switch from RCMP

Election announcements on seniors support from both Liberals and NDP

Party leaders to hold live election debate

Election discourse has become very personal

1006 – The first U.S. presidential debate was about as low as political discourse could – rude, lying, hate, name-calling and a whole lot more. Politics has sunken to its lowest level we can remember.

Ben Domenech, wrote in The Transom“America Got What It Wanted and It Was Terrible:

“For all the people who are upset about last night’s horrible debate, they should pause and ask themselves: wasn’t that just an accurate reflection of where we are as a nation? Two septuagenarians bashing each other with bursts of bombastic bullshittery and competing whatabouts is the content you will find on Facebook and cable news every single day. To the extent people are disappointed, remind yourself: these men both have nearly 90 percent ratings with the two largest political parties in America. They both bested huge fields of candidates to get their respective roles. This is the show you asked for, and you got it.”

It’s easy for us to sit here north of the 49th parallel and virtue signal to those uncivil Americans. Are we really that far behind?

For the past three years almost every word out of BC Liberal party has focussed on Premier John Horgan, targeting him as a villain. Horgan this, Horgan that, and Horgan everything else. What has stood out over that period of time is how little the Liberals told us what they would do for the province if they were returned to power. No, it was always nasty, bad, evil John Horgan.

We didn’t see the vilification of Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson by the NDP, and then the election was called. It was like night and day, they had kept their powder dry and now it was time to blast both barrels. NDP television advertising telling us all about the Liberals, focussing on nasty, bad, evil Andrew Wilkinson.

In any other field of discussion, this would border on hate speech. Let’s hope we don’t get the same feeling from our leaders’ coming debate that the Americans got out of theirs. We are better than that, aren't we? 

Liberals would restart Massey bridge construction

More than seven years after the BC Liberals announced plans to replace the Massey Tunnel with a bridge, they are going to do it again. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson will announce his plans today to replace an aging tunnel with a bridge if elected. The BC Liberals announced the plans in 2013 for a 10-lane, $3.5-billion bridge and interchange improvements to replace the tunnel. But the NDP cancelled the project in 2017.

Horgan to host virtual town hall, make announcement
Premier John Horgan will host Keep BC Moving Forward: A Virtual Town Hall and make an important campaign announcement. Horgan will be joined by hundreds of supporters and take questions from British Columbians. 5 pm today Virtual Town Hall

Liberals vow to halt Surrey police transition, hold referendum
A BC Liberal government would pause the Surrey police transition and hold a referendum for city residents before continuing, the party announced Sunday.   

Election announcements on seniors support from both Liberals and NDP
The leaders of both the Liberals and New Democrats have made seniors' care announcements in British Columbia's provincial election campaign.

Elections BC clears Liberal after accusation by NDP

1003 –Elections BC has cleared BC Liberal candidate Garry Thind after an investigation into allegations of corrupt voting, saying it found no evidence to shore up the claims. 

The investigation follows a complaint from the NDP saying the Thind campaign was gathering personal information to illegally request vote-by-mail packages. It’s illegal to obtain a ballot on behalf of another voter.

A statement from Elections BC says it found no evidence of improper vote-by-mail package requests.

Housing affordability rests on politicians' shoulders

Affordable housing is something we’ll hear ad nauseum over the next few weeks as politicians try to persuade us they have the solutions for what ails us. We hear all the platitudes about fixing what’s wrong. The bottom line is they are all blowing smoke. 

When it comes to housing affordability it is our governments that put shelter out of reach of so many British Columbians. We can go to the usual suspects like municipal red tape driving up the costs of housing, and it’s real.

The bane of us all, it’s taxes that put the costs of housing beyond the reach of so many families. How can anyone get out of the shadow of homelessness when purchasing a house that is so highly taxable. The property transfer tax on a $500,00 house carries a one-per-cent tax on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the remaining $300,000, for a total $8,000 in property transfer tax. And that’s up front. How much does that add to the monthly mortgage payment over 25 years? That’s the amount that could disqualify some people from being able to purchase.

And keep in mind, where can you find a house at $500,000 or less these days? Look at a $750,000 home and it becomes a $763,000 home.

How many more families would qualify to buy a home if it wasn’t for the property transfer tax?The next time a candidate talks about affordability, ask him or her about this incredible obstacle to affordability. Just keep a shovel ready for the response.

Full slate for three parties in mid-Island ridings

1002 – With the deadline now passed, the three main parties in the Oct. 24 general election have nominated candidates in the mid-Island ridings.

The NDP and Green parties had last-minute entries in Parksville-Qualicum while incumbent MLA Michelle Stilwell had been named weeks ago. Rob Lyon is the Green Party standard bearer while Adam Walker represents the New Democrats. Both parties have yet to provide their candidate information.

Lia Versaevel’s nomination by the Greens brought the Nanaimo slate to three, with incumbent Sheila Malcolmson of the NDP and BC Liberal Kathleen Jones filling the slate.

Nanaimo-North Cowichan was ahead of the race with incumbent Doug Routley of the NDP and Duck Paterson of the BC Liberals along with Chris Istace of the Greens.

We’re working diligently to provide full information on the riding sections of Nanaimonet. We need a few responses – one from the NDP and two from the Greens. Stay tuned.

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF JOBS available for election day, all with good pay. Click HERE for full application information.

Furstenau pushing long-term senior care reform

Sonia Furstenau

1002 – The BC Greens' first platform pledge focuses on seniors in long-term care.

“Too often we speak about beds in care homes, instead of the people who live there,” Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said in a news conference Thursday.

The party has promised to move away from a for-profit care homes, instead focusing on community-based facilities that “integrate seniors more deeply into our communities.”

Furstenau noted that the government was quick to back provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry when she issued the single site order for facility staff earlier this year, but argued that issues within long-term care “at their core” have yet to be fixed. FULL STORY

Horgan preaches the greenhouse gas reduction message

John Horgan

1002 – NDP leader John Horgan has added to his series of long-range goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking in Squamish, Horgan said not only will B.C. eliminate 80 per cent of its current carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, a re-elected NDP government will mandate in legislation that the province will reach a “carbon neutral” state the same year. He made the comment at the headquarters of CO2 extraction pioneer Carbon Engineering on Oct. 2.

That means all new emissions from vehicles, industry and buildings have to be offset by reductions in other places, natural carbon sinks such as additional forest, or industrial-scale removal as Carbon Engineering plans to do. FULLL STORY

Wilkinson zeroes in on protesters, blockades

Andrew Wilkinson

1002 – B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson took his campaign to Merritt Friday, promising to stabilize the forest industry with “working forest” guarantees, and vowing to get tough on protests targeting pipeline and other projects that have permits to build.

“We’ll end the NDP’s obstruction for the Trans Mountain pipeline, and we will take the position that permitted projects should not be blocked by protesters,” Wilkinson said at a lumberyard in the B.C. Interior community near Kamloops Oct. 2.

Police have responded multiple times to road and rail blockades targeting the Coastal Gaslink project, opposed by a small group of hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs and their supporters across the country. FULL STORY

Leaders to take part in televised debate Oct. 13

Friday, Oct. 2

1002 – The three main party leaders in the B.C. provincial election will take part in a television debate on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

A consortium of B.C. broadcasters, including CTV News, will hold the live televised leaders debate T moderated by Angus Reid Institute president Shachi Kurl. There will be no live audience present during the debate.

NDP Leader John Horgan, Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and Green Leader Sonia Furstenau will square off in the 90-minute debate, which will also air live on radio and online at CTVNewsVancouverIsland.ca  and CTVNewsVancouver.ca.

 

Only one Central Island riding has a full slate of candidates

Oct. 1

CANDIDATES SLOW TO DECLARE – Only one of the Central Vancouver Island ridings has a slate of three candidate so far. NDP, Liberals and Greens have named candidates in Nanaimo-North Cowichan. Nanaimo has two candidates to date, NDP and Liberal. But in Parksville-Qualicum it's a one-person race with incumbent Michelle Stilwell of the Liberals as the only candidate. Nanaimonet provides sections for each riding so parties can post their campaign materials.

A TEENAGER has been named the Green Party candidate for Saanich South in the provincial election. Seventeen-year-old Kate O’Connor is a climate advocate who graduated high school only a few months ago. She said she represents a generation of young people whose voices are too often ignored and who are now demanding their future is protected, so they can pass on a safe planet to children. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the excitement and support pouring in for the campaign, especially from young people wanting to volunteer,” she said in a press release. MORE 

LONG-TERM CARE – New Democrats will eliminate shared rooms in long-term care facilities, if re-elected. Leader John Horgan said the government would spend $1.4 billion over 10 years to build additional facilities if elected on Oct. 24. He would also support a wage hike for long-term care workers. Horgan said he’ll focus investment on public long-term care homes, instead of providing hundreds of millions in funding to for-profit corporations. MORE 

ELECTIONS BC is investigating after the BC NDP accused a BC Liberal candidate of co-ordinating an effort to request mail-in ballots for constituents in his Lower Mainland riding, in violation of the Election Act. Global News obtained a letter and other documents written by party lawyers to Elections BC, which is investigating. Lawyer Rachel Roy alleges that Garry Thind, the BC Liberal candidate for Surrey-Fleetwood, and his team are part of larger effort to collect personal information from constituents and request a mail-in ballot for them on their behalf. Elections BC says it takes every complaint it receives seriously and are taking appropriate and ongoing steps to address this matter. MORE

Prominent B.C. NDP member has no regrets about 'f*** the police' artwork
Longtime B.C. NDP member Morgane Oger, who’s served as a vice-president of the party and had hoped to run in the snap election, has “no regrets” in buying and posing with a photo of graffiti reading “f*** the police.” 

Party leaders lay their cards on the table

Andrew Wilkinson

1001 – The major political parties made commitments on the campaign trail on Thursday.

BC NDP leader John Horgan was in Vancouver to announce plans to expand the BC Access Grant for post-secondary students if re-elected.

The program would include more financial support for eligible students, and more students would be eligible to access as much as $4,000 a year to help pay for tuition, textbooks, and supplies.

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson released part of his much anticipated plan on community safety and tent cities. He has spent much of the campaign focused on the issue and is committing to end homeless camps in city parks. MORE

Mayors have a huge shopping lists for provincial parties

1001 –The mayors of British Columbia's 13 largest cities want provincial parties to commit to mental health and substance use, affordable housing, public transit and municipal finance reform ahead of next month's election.

The B.C. Urban Mayors' Caucus say municipalities are bearing the brunt of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and financial challenges are putting the long-term sustainability of some critical services at risk.

They want the parties to commit to immediately expanding the availability of substance use and mental health treatment options, and to make permanent the recent public health order expanding the range of health professionals allowed to prescribe safe pharmaceutical alternatives to toxic street drugs. MORE

Greens focus on long-term care

Sonia Furstenau

1001 – The BC Greens have released details on their first platform pledge in the 2020 snap election, focusing on the most vulnerable in the ongoing pandemic: seniors in long-term care.

“Too often we speak about beds in care homes, instead of the people who live there,” Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said in a news conference Thursday, thanking workers on the front lines taking care of the elderly through COVID-19.

The Greens have promised to move away from a for-profit care home model, instead focusing on community-based facilities that “integrate seniors more deeply into our communities.” MORE

Poll shows large proportion of voters plan to mail in votes

Sept 30

British Columbia may see a massive increase in the number of residents choosing to vote by mail. New data from Research Co., 29 per cent of likely voters said they intend to cast their ballots by mail. In the last provincial election, Elections BC says 6,375 valid vote-by-mail ballots were counted, or about 0.33 per cent of the total number of valid votes cast. 

Fifty-eight per cent of respondents said they recalled voting in person on election day in the last provincial election, but only 28 per cent said they are planning to vote this way on Oct. 24. 

Spencer Chandra Herbert, the NDP incumbent in Vancouver-West End, is in a tizzy telling BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson to fire one of his candidates. The candidate, Margaret Kunst, a councillor in Langley Township, voted against endorsing a rainbow sidewalk in her community.

"My message to Andrew Wilkinson is clear: LGBTQ people count, they matter, and taking them for granted or completely ignoring them as he seems to be doing by standing with people who oppose their rights is not OK," Chandra Herbert said.

Since when are multi-coloured sidewalks a “right”? Telling another party whom they should and should not have as a candidate is over the line. That’s censorship. How about trusting the voters in Langley to figure things out for themselves.

Sales tax cut promise does not make fiscal sense

0929 – Our federal government’s budget is hundreds of billions in deficit – and British Columbia is hundreds of million over budget because or virus pandemic spending.  

The harsh reality is that money has to be paid off in some form, and taxation is the only source of revenue government has. As much as some elected officials seem to dream, there is no money tree orchard anywhere, the bills will have to be paid. There are no sources of income for governments other than taxpayers.

Think about that for a while – we’re running up our collective credit card beyond the max.

That’s why it’s so incomprehensible that anyone would promote reducing government revenue.

That’s why we have to palm-slap our foreheads at B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson’s promise to do just that by setting the provincial sales tax at zero for one year and at three per cent the following year. He hasn’t said how he would replace this lost income.

You don’t have to be a financial genius to know this would impact government revenue, unquestionably limiting government’s ability to pay the bills, by adding to the accumulated debt. That debt clock keeps ticking to the point where even paying only the interest becomes an daunting challenge. The cuckoo has been chirping the alarm for some time.

All this is based on the theory of priming the pump to revive the economy, but we’re basically out of primer. It’s much like trying to lift yourself when you’re standing in the bucket. 

As one meme recently showed Prime Minister Trudeau saying, “We took on debt so Canadians wouldn’t have to.” A man holding my credit card is telling me he is using it so I don’t have to. It’s time to put a stop payment on that card.