The B.C. Liberal Party announces that Tony Harris will seek that party’s nomination for the coming byelection in Nanaimo. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Car dealer to represent B.C. Liberals in byelection on the Island

Tony Harris wants to become MLA in Nanaimo riding vacated by Leonard Krog

Nanaimo doesn’t get the attention it needs or deserves. That was the message from local business owner Tony Harris as he was introduced as the B.C. Liberal Party’s intended candidate in the coming byelection.

The announcement was made Wednesday morning at an event in Nanaimo that featured B.C. Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson and other Liberals MLA, including Michelle Stilwell from Parksville-Qualicum.

Nanaimo’s riding will be vacated by MLA Leonard Krog, who took the oath of office to become Nanaimo’s mayor on Monday.

Harris, who is the owner of multiple automotive dealerships and a residential development in Departure Bay, told dozens of supporters on Wednesday that while Nanaimo is a special place to live, work and play, it can be so much more.

“Nanaimo has never realized its full potential and that is because for years and years we’ve sent the same party to Victoria with the same result,” Harris said. “They haven’t gotten Nanaimo the attention it deserves and Nanaimo is taken for granted.”

Harris said the NDP’s focus has been on Victoria and Vancouver and not Nanaimo.

“They don’t take us seriously,” he said. “They’ve even so bold as to overlook my friend Leonard Krog for a cabinet seat when they formed government.”

Implementing a foot passenger ferry service from Nanaimo to Vancouver, improving relations with the First Nations, alleviating child poverty and homelessness, ending the speculation tax, increasing housing stock and improving the city’s hospital are among the key priorities for Harris.

“We need an intensive care unit at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. We need a cancer treatment centre where patients can get radiation. It is high time we said enough is enough. Patients shouldn’t be driving over the Malahat [for care] that they need and deserve,” he said.

Harris is the son of Tom Harris, a business owner who died last year in a boating accident in Washington state.

“Nanaimo needs to get back on the radar and I believe we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us to change that, to dream big, to think big and to do more,” he said. “There are many issues in Nanaimo that simply haven’t gotten the attention in Victoria and I will change that.”

Wilkinson said Nanaimo is an exciting place and a regional hub with “a lot going” on. He said when it was clear a byelection would occur, the party began asking people in the community about candidates who would represent the mid-Island region and in Nanaimo, one name stood out.

“The name that came up repeatedly was Tony Harris,” Wilkinson said.

The B.C. NDP has announced that Sheila Malcolmson will be seeking that party’s nomination to run in the byelection. Malcolmson is Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP.

Just Posted

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail re-opens after lengthy repairs

The trail has been closed since February

Green New Deal meeting in Sooke part of a larger movement

Humanity has 4,000 days left before it will be too late

Council pursues water line extension for north Sooke

Properties affected by Highway 14 project may see water service

Province invests $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training

Money to go towards teacher spots and Indigenous teaching practices

Small crews battle ravenous invasive bullfrogs that gobble up native species

American bullfrogs diet includes smaller native frogs, local salamanders and songbirds

VIDEO: Sexting teens at risk of depression and substance abuse, Canadian study says

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Women sue former Vancouver cop over alleged sexual abuse during pimp case

Two women claim James Fisher caused psychological trauma during the Reza Moazami investigation

First ever Indigenous person to join the RCMP to be honoured in B.C.

Hawk Kelly said becoming a Mountie was his dream job as a kid

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Dash-cam video in trial of accused B.C. cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Most Read