The Vancouver Island Party Nanaimo Platform
Former MP Candidate for MLA in Nanaimo By-Election
Vancouver Island To Become a New Canadian Province
Nanaimo, BC: Former MP, Dr. Robin Richardson, age 76, announced his candidacy today for The Vancouver Island Party (VIP) for MLA for Nanaimo in a provincial by-election expected in January, 2019.
Dr. Richardson and his wife, Jacqui, of 52 years, lives in Nanaimo at Resort on the Lake on beautiful Westwood Lake. They also have a home in Victoria.
The Vancouver Island Party has a two-fold mission:
(1) To benefit more fully Vancouver Island as a region of British Columbia economically, socially, environmentally and culturally, and
(2) To establish Vancouver Island as a province of Canada as soon as possible.
“The Vancouver Island Party is centrist in nature”, said Dr. Richardson. “We are fiscally responsible, socially progressive, environmentally green, and culturally respectful. We welcome all VanIslers, irrespective of their former political affiliation.”
Dr. Richardson, a Harvard-educated economist, financial planner and community activist, declared that… “Vancouver Island would be at least 10 times better off as an independent province of Canada than an often neglected by both federal and provincial government “fringe region” of British Columbia.”
“At about 800,000 population, VanIsle is more than 5 times larger than Prince Edward Island (153,244), almost double the size of Newfoundland and Labrador (525,355) and, even larger than New Brunswick (770, 633).
Furthermore, New Brunswick’s population is declining, while VanIsle’s population is increasing”, observed Dr. Richardson.
“I want to make this by-election into a referendum for Nanaimo voters on the practical and achievable goal of an independent VANISLE PROVINCE.”
Dr. Richardson’s VIP MLA for Nanaimo campaign theme is:
“10 Times Better Off!”
“VanIsle has almost 17% of the population of British Columbia, yet it receives far less of this share of Ottawa’s spending on BC on health and other transfers, departmental offices and program spending and spending by crown corporations. THIS IS UNFAIR!”
“In the provincial election last May, all of the other provincial parties projected 3-year ‘bricks and motor” investments on infrastructure, transit and building projects on colleges and universities. Of these promises, VanIsle got less than 1%, yet we have almost 17% of the population of BC. THIS IS ALSO UNFAIR!”
“If we had received our “fair share” by population, VanIsle would be getting about $700 million between 2018 to 2020. With this investment money, we could upgrade the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway (E&N), making it into an efficient, safe and environmentally clean commuter and cargo service from Courtenay to Victoria”, observed Dr. Richardson.
“The NDP Government has abandoned its promise to upgrade the E&N Railway as an alternative to the deadly Malahat Drive. SHAME ON THEM!”
Dr. Richardson’s campaign goals for the citizens of Nanaimo are:
- A world class diversified job strategy for more high paying jobs in Nanaimo in high tech, green and clean manufacturing, value added resource industries, clean coal, construction, cannabis, tourism and service businesses, including government.
- The support of employee ownership plans which are proven to improve employee income, productivity and morale.
- The prohibition of “Right to-Work (RTW) legislation in order to protect both unionized and non-unionized workers against downward wage and benefit pressure from powerful employers.
- The removal of the NDP speculation tax on all properties in the Regional District of Nanaimo.
- The removal of the $5,500 cap on soft tissue injuries from ICBC.
- Full funding of Legal Aid by giving 100% of the monies raised by the tax on legal services to fund legal aid.
- Dental care to be included in provincial health services.
- A passenger-only ferry service from Nanaimo to downtown Vancouver.
- The elimination of BC Ferries’ fares for individuals – walk-on, drivers and passengers; reduced fares for cars and trailers; and substantially reduced fares for trucks with 2,000 or more tonnes of cargo.
- For Vancouver Island University (VIU), free tuition for its students with at least 4 years residency in middle and high school in the Regional District of Nanaimo and from families with $90,000 or less family income. The Government of New Brunswick established such a policy in 2016, with a family cut-off of $60,000.
Adult students of any age may also qualify for this student aid benefit with 4 years of VanIsle residency, provided they are from families with $90,000 or less family income.
All student loans will be interest-free provided they are paid off within 10 years.
There would be preferential hiring programs for VIU graduates to stay in Nanaimo to pursue their professions and trades.
11. A guaranteed annual income (GAI) for the City of Nanaimo residents with at least 12 months residency geared to the living wage in Nanaimo, and indexed annually to the cost of living. This GAI would be a key income support to reduce poverty in Nanaimo. If the NDP Government chooses to implement a 3-city 3- year pilot project, as recommended by The Vancouver Island Party (VIP), in its 2019 provincial budget, Nanaimo should be one of the cities or towns included in this project.
A GAI is proven not to discourage work. With an income safety net, recipients often get better jobs and many start new businesses.
A GAI provides higher income support than social assistance and would provide an incentive to developers to build affordable rental housing in Nanaimo.
A GAI will replace the current social assistance and other income support programs. Its net cost to taxpayers is substantially reduced.
12. As an additional strategy to reduce child poverty, encourage school breakfasts programs in all schools in the Nanaimo – Ladysmith School District and engage private organizations, such as churches, to administer these programs. BC has the highest child poverty rate in Canada (1 out of 5 children). The child poverty rate in Victoria is even higher than the provincial average (1 out of 4 children). Nanaimo may be even worse.
13. Tent cities and panhandling will not be allowed anywhere near commercial business districts.
14. For the Snuneymuxw First Nation and its Petroglyph Development Group, provincial funding for its tourism development project for Newcastle Island. Also, working with the new Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP, work for the release of National Defence lands for much needed First Nation housing.
15. For the Regional District of Nanaimo, provincial support for water conservation, sewerage projects and dykes and seawalls.
16. Earthquake protection for all public buildings.
Dr. Richardson, a Pastor, further explained that the Vancouver Island Party has a strong sense of ethics. He said, “ There is hope! Politics, but not as usual! Love, respect, reconciliation and trust, not fear! VanIslers in Nanaimo can enjoy a strong, safe and sustainable economy, a healthy environment and the elimination of poverty before it is too late!”
All VanIsle Party candidates for elected office must sign a Vancouver Island Party Code of Representative Ethical Conduct and practice “Golden Rule Politics”.
Dr. Richardson concluded by urging the citizens of Nanaimo to UNITE and JOIN the Vancouver Island Party provincial independence movement NOW!