The NDP has chosen Indigenous leader Bob Chamberlin as their candidate for the upcoming federal byelection in Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs vice-president was selected by party members at Saturday’s nomination meeting, edging out Lauren Semple, Maeve O’Byrne and Fred Statham to stand for the May 6 vote.
Chamberlin, who has also served as chief counsellor of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation on Gilford Island since 2005, said he was excited to enter federal politics.
“I hope to earn the trust of the people of Nanaimo – Ladysmith so I can work hard for them and make sure they get what they need from their government,” he said in a release announcing the nomination.
Chamberlin will now try to keep the Nanaimo-Ladysmith seat in the NDP’s hands, which will be no small feat considering former MP Sheila Malcolmson won the riding with just over 33 per cent of the vote in 2015.
Malcolmson left her seat in parliament to run as the BC NDP candidate in January’s provincial byelection in Nanaimo, which she ended up winning.
WATCH: (Aired March 24) Keith Baldrey on the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection called for May
Michelle Corfield, who currently serves as chair of the Nanaimo Port Authority, has already been named as the Liberal candidate for the federal byelection.
The Conservatives, meanwhile, have named businessman John Hirst as their candidate, while Paul Manly has secured the nomination for the Green Party. Jennifer Clarke will run for the People’s Party of Canada.
The byelection is the fourth race Trudeau has had to call this year ahead of October’s federal election.
One of those byelections, in Burnaby South, finally gave NDP leader Jagmeet Singh a seat in parliament more than a year after securing the party leadership.
Singh will be in Nanaimo on Sunday to help Chamberlin launch his campaign.
“Bob is a tireless worker with an unparalleled dedication and determination to stand up for the common good, protect our environment, and make life easier and more affordable for those who have been left behind by decades of Liberal and Conservatives governments,” Singh said in a statement.