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Nanaimo provincial byelection set for January 30

Click to play video 'NDP government calls critical Nanaimo byelection' NDP government calls critical Nanaimo byelection
WATCH: NDP government calls critical Nanaimo byelection

B.C. Premier John Horgan has called the Nanaimo byelection for Jan. 30. The seat opened up when Nanaimo mayor Leonard Krog resigned his provincial seat in November.

The byelection is one of the most important in the province’s history. If the Liberals win the seat from the NDP it will create a tie in the B.C. legislature, with speaker Darryl Plecas being required to break any tie.

READ MORE: Sheila Malcolmson kicks off Nanaimo MLA byelection campaign as NDP candidate

The BC NDP have nominated MP Sheila Malcolmson as the party’s candidate.

NDP byelection candidate Sheila Malcolmson helps put up campaign sign in Nanaimo on January 2, 2019.
NDP byelection candidate Sheila Malcolmson helps put up campaign sign in Nanaimo on January 2, 2019. Allen Felker/Global News

“Today is the start of the most significant by-election campaign we’ve ever had in B.C.,” Malcolmson said.

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“The stakes are high and the choice is clear – we can continue to build a strong future with John Horgan and the BC NDP, or we can risk going back to the BC Liberals and their record of cutting services and making your life more expensive.”

READ MORE: B.C. Liberals name businessman Tony Harris as candidate in upcoming Nanaimo byelection

The BC Liberals have nominated local businessman Tony Harris.

“For me this opportunity is like lets tell Nanaimo’s story and Nanaimo is going to matter,” Harris said. “For me it is all about how we improve Nanaimo and tell the story of our community that needs attention.”

LISTEN: B.C. Premier John Horgan has called the Nanaimo byelection for Jan. 30.

BC Greens have nominated teacher Michele Ney. Ney is the daughter of longtime mayor and Nanaimo legend Frank Ney.

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“I have a very strong team behind me and I am feeling we can put the Green stamp on Nanaimo,” Ney said. “This is an opportune time for the members of our community to choose with their conscience and their hearts.”

The BC Conservatives also plan on running a candidate.

Candidate nominations for the Nanaimo byelection close on Jan. 9.

WATCH: (Aired Dec. 31) B.C. government facing major challenges in 2019

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B.C. government facing major challenges in 2019

Advance voting will be available over six days from Tuesday, Jan. 22 to Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voting places will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m on Jan. 30.

Horgan promised to have the new MLA in place in time to debate the budget in  February.

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“For 16 years, the BC Liberals drove up class sizes for Nanaimo students, refused to replace the aging Nanaimo ICU, and hiked costs on hardworking people to pay for tax breaks for their rich friends,” Horgan said.