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

Accused pleads not guilty as Trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder

Colin John quietly entered not guilty pleas to both charges.

RCMP’s North Cowichan/Duncan detachment officers overwhelmed with accolades

“There is really some amazing work being done here in the Cowichan Valley”

Trial opens for accused in 2016 Chemainus murder

“I was soaked in blood from the neck down”: witness

Garage burns in Cobble Hill

Firefighters got call just after 5 a.m. on Monday

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during slaughter and they are investigating

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

Most Read