Nanaimo-Ladysmith Green win sends message to other parties that climate issue a winner

Paul Manly received 37.4 per cent of the vote

British Columbia voters sent a message that Canadians are deeply concerned about the environment and climate issues will be at the forefront in October’s federal election campaign, jubilant Green party supporters said Monday night.

Voters in Nanaimo elected Paul Manly of the Greens as their new member of Parliament, barely six months before October’s federal vote.

With about 95 per cent of the ballots counted in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection, Manly received 37.4 per cent of the vote.

John Hirst, the Conservative candidate, was a distant second with almost 25 per cent of the vote. The NDP polled 23 per cent and Liberal candidate Michelle Corfield received 11 per cent of the vote.

“People really want to see action on climate change,” said Manly, who called his victory “historic.”

Manly will become the second Green party member in Parliament, joining Leader Elizabeth May.

His victory shows the other parties that Canadians are serious about climate change, Manly said, adding he expects the Green wave of support to grow in the October election.

“It’s time to step up and do what needs to be done and have a little bit of political courage to deal with climate change properly,” Manly said. “Stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry.”

Ilan Goldenblatt, Manly’s campaign manager, said voters in Nanaimo served notice to the Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats that Canadians want more movement on environmental issues.

“There’s a real strong sense here on the West Coast and on Vancouver Island that the three old-line parties are just slow on the uptake on actually committing to real action,” he said.

Green Leader Elizabeth May said in a statement Manly’s win signals a new era in federal politics. The win doubles Green party caucus in the House of Commons, where May has served as the only Green MP since 2011.

“It is brave to vote for real change,” said May in a statement. “Paul and I will work tirelessly to continue to earn the trust of Canadians.”

READ MORE: ‘Historic moment’ as Nanaimo-Ladysmith elects Green MP

Gord Johns, Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP, said the Green win will be felt in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office and among the Liberal caucus.

“This vote is a clear message to the Liberals and Justin Trudeau,” said Johns at a subdued NDP election headquarters for defeated candidate Bob Chamberlin. “The people in Nanaimo-Ladysmith and most Canadians are unhappy with what’s going on in Ottawa. This is what we heard on the doorstep everyday.”

He called the Green win a “protest vote,” and said the NDP campaign for the October election “starts tonight.”

Manly said he was heading to Ottawa to help May.

“It sends a message clearly that we’ve seen a wave come across from Prince Edward Island … that people are serious about climate change,” he said.

Manly told the crowd of cheering supporters he will work hard to do better for the community.

“How we can change the economy — that we are working in to protect the environment that we need for our health, for our children, for our grandchildren,” he said. “How we can do a better job of taking care of people who are less fortunate.”

He said governments should stop subsidizing the “old” economy.

“We moved beyond the horse and buggy and it’s time to move beyond the internal combustion engine,” Manly said, as the crowd cheered.

“Those days should be over. It’s time to move forward.”

Manly, is a researcher, a filmmaker and a communications specialist.

He was the Green party’s candidate in 2015 in the same riding and finished fourth with 20 per cent of the vote.

The riding has been vacant since January when former New Democrat MP Sheila Malcolmson resigned the seat to run successfully in a provincial byelection in Nanaimo.

This is the third election in eight months for residents of this Vancouver Island city.

Seven candidates were in the contest, which saw five federal leaders visit the riding, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

The Nanaimo area has traditionally swung back and forth between New Democrat or Conservative-leaning MP’s.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Prince Rupert to send a high school golf team to provincials

For the first time in more than six years, Charles Hays Secondary School has a golf club

Rock Stock 2019: “It’s going to be better than last year”

For some young musicians this will be their eighth year performing at Rock Stock in Prince Rupert

First ever Indigenous Symposium educates teachers in Prince Rupert

Cedar weaving, drumming for reconciliation and basic Sm’algyax lessons were offered to educators

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Playing with the big boys: CHSS’ junior rugby team too good for their league

Coach says this is one of the best high school rugby teams he has seen in Prince Rupert

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read