NANAIMO (NEWS 1130) — A candidate for MLA in Nanaimo wants Vancouver Island to become Canada’s 11th province.
Robin Richardson, economist and former Ontario MP, thinks the region would be better off as an independent province and if his vision comes true, he would call it the VanIsle Province.
“No matter how you look at it, whether you know, fiscally we’d be better off, economically, socially, environmentally and culturally better off as our own independent province,” Richardson tells NEWS 1130.
If elected, he says he will push for the government to hold referendum so Islanders can vote on whether or not they want out. He would use mixed-member representation as the preferred electoral system, which he argues would result in double the ridings from 14 to 28 by splitting the current maps, with two MLA’s in each riding.
“We’re for balancing the budget over the business cycle, not every year, but some years surplus, some years deficits,” he says about the Vancouver Island Party’s economic vision, adding that he’d want to come into the Confederation with no debt. Environmentally, he says the Vancouver Island Party is “greener” than the B.C. Greens.
“Economically, we’re for jobs, jobs, jobs. There’s a huge amount of potential here on the island with our resource industries. Green clean technology, that would be on the high end of our priorities.”
He also wants to implement a guaranteed, annual income with Nanaimo as one of three pilots projects for that, as well as free tuition for college and university students who come from families that make up to $90,000.
Richardson launched his campaign Friday night in Nanaimo, hoping to gather support to help Vancouver Island break off from the mainland.
“We’re often neglected by both the federal and provincial governments. We are basically a fringe region of British Columbia,” Richardson says.