Indigenous leader Robert Chamberlin will seek federal NDP nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith – Straight.com

Indigenous leader Robert Chamberlin will seek federal NDP nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith - Straight.com
Indigenous leader Bob Chamberlin seeks federal NDP nomination in B.C. riding
As the vice president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, hes also been involved in a range of other issues, ranging from land use to the treatment of children in government care.

But theres a chance that he could become a member of Parliament—and the third Indigenous person from B.C. to have a seat in the House of Commons. 

Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Vice President Chief Bob Chamberlin, left, and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, join protesters opposed to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline extension and defy a court order blocking an entrance to the company's property, in Burnaby, B.C., on Saturday April 7, 2018.

Today, Chamberlin announced that hes seeking the NDP nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. The seat was vacated by New Democrat Sheila Malcolmson when she launched a successful campaign in the Nanaimo provincial by-election.

In a news release announcing his bid for the nomination, Chamberlin says he has spent much of his life in the Nanaimo area and understands issues important to the riding such as affordable housing and childcare, and a  workable pharmacare system covering prescription drugs.

“There are the issues people in this riding care about—building more affordable homes, being able to pay for the prescription drugs you need, having child care you can access and afford,” Chamberlin said in a news release. “But its not going to happen when Mr. Trudeau only listens to the lobbyists and corporate executives who come knocking at his Ottawa door.”

The Conservative Party of Canada selected its candidate, 32-year-old financial manager John Hirst, last November and Jennifer Clarke, who lost the nomination to Hirst, was named in January to represent the new People’s Party of Canada, led by Quebec MP Maxime Bernier.

B.C.s first Indigenous MP was Len Marchand, who represented the Liberals in Kamloops-Cariboo from 1968 to 1979. He was later appointed to the Senate.

Bob Chamberlin is the long-serving chief counsellor of a First Nation based on Gilford Island in the Broughton Archipelago off northeastern Vancouver Island and is also serving his third, three-year term as vice president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

Chamberlins decision to seek a nomination offers a boost to NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who will soon lose one of his two Indigenous MPs.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith is currently vacant after former New Democrat member of Parliament Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January to run successfully for the provincial New Democrats in a byelection.

The partys critic for reconciliation is Romeo Saganash, whose ancestry is Cree. Hes not seeking reelection after representing the Quebec riding of Abitbi–Baie-James—Nunavik–Eeyou for two terms.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not announced a federal by-election in the Vancouver Island riding, but Elections Canada said in January that it must be called no later than July 6.

The NDPs other Indigenous MP is Georgina Jolibois. Shes a member of the Dene First Nation and represents the Manitoba riding of Desnethé-Missinippi–Churchill River.

A high-profile Indigenous leader in British Columbia intends to seek the 2019 NDP candidacy in the federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

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A high profile Indigenous leader in British Columbia intends to seek the 2019 NDP candidacy in the federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

Bob Chamberlin, who is Kwakwaka'wakw, is the long-serving chief councillor of Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation based on Gilford Island in the Broughton Archipelago off northeastern Vancouver Island. He is also serving his third, three-year term as vice-president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

In a news release announcing his bid for the nomination, Chamberlin says he has spent much of his life in the Nanaimo area and understands issues important to the riding such as affordable housing and childcare, and a workable pharmacare system covering prescription drugs.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith is currently vacant after former New Democrat member of Parliament Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January to run successfully for the provincial New Democrats in a byelection.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not announced a federal byelection in the Vancouver Island riding, but Elections Canada said in January that it must be called no later than July 6.

The Conservative Party of Canada selected its candidate, 32-year-old financial manager John Hirst, last November and Jennifer Clarke, who lost the nomination to Hirst, was named in January to represent the new People's Party of Canada, led by Quebec MP Maxime Bernier.