Sheila Malcolmson, the newly sworn in NDP MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, is welcoming the Liberal win as potentially good news for the Central Island.
Malcolmson says she welcomes the Liberals lead by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as being good news for issues facing the Central Island area.
“I’m very happy to be working with the Liberals over the Conservatives,” says Malcolmson.
“I think we’re going to see a better response to coastal issues and local community economic development.”
Malcolmson says a Liberal government is something the NDP have worked well with in the past on issues such as labour, health care and economic development.
“We’ve got a strong tradition of working well together and I’m sure we’ll be able to again,” she says.
Current island issues are centered around local infrastructure such as road, sewage treatment and transportation issues such as transit,a fast passenger ferry and getting the E & N railway going again.
“We’ve seen a starving local infrastructure funding that goes back several decades,” says Malcolmson.
Infrastructure issues are also of concern to the farming and local food production industry.
“That’s a place where infrastructure partnerships would allow them to add more value to the food they’re growing,” says Malcolmson.
She says she’s met with the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and has heard back “loud and clear from the business community” on issues concerning infrastructure and local business.
“I said during the campaign and still believe the fast ferry would be great for Nanaimo,” says Malcolmson.
She says is if her constituents and local business support it as a priority, she would “be a champion for that.”
She says that sewage treatment is a concern in the Nanaimo area and the Regional District of Nanaimo have applied for that.
“Their priority is a major sewage treatment upgrade,” says Malcolmson. “They’ve already got an application in to the federal government and are just waiting to hear.”
Coastal issues such as oil spill response, the habitat of fish and what happens when that is undermined are also being looked at as well as local job concerns in the industry.
“We heard a lot of people in the campaign worried about layoffs at the Nanaimo Biological Station,” she says.
Remembrance Day is Malcolmson’s first official day as the new MP and she will be touring various communities attending ceremomies.
“That will be a great opportunity to see the riding,” she says.
Her priority is to open a constituency office and hire staff to start addressing the concerns in the riding.