March 20, 2019 6:15 pm

High-profile Indigenous leader plans federal NDP run on Vancouver Island

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.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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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 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.

READ MORE: NDP retains grip on power as Sheila Malcolmson wins Nanaimo byelection


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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.

READ MORE: B.C. federal riding falls vacant as Trudeau poised to call three byelections

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 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.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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