Svend Robinson issues 'wake-up call' to own party after NDP byelection loss

Chris Campbell

This week’s federal byelection was terrible news for the NDP and Svend Robinson called out his own party about it on social media.

The party lost the federal byelection in Nanaimo-Ladysmith – a riding the NDP held until former-MP Sheila Malcolmson stepped aside to run in a provincial byelection.

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Malcolmson won in 2015 by 10 percentage points. On Monday night, the NDP candidate came in an embarrassing third place behind the Conservatives and the ultimate winners, the federal Green Party.

The Green candidate, Paul Manly, whipped the NDP by about 14 points (with 90 per cent of polls reporting, so there may be a slight variation when all the polls are counted).

On Wednesday, Robinson – the candidate for Burnaby North-Seymour and the former MP for much of the redrawn riding – issued a lacerating tweet about why his own party lost.

“Nanaimo by-election is wake up call to Federal NDP. Apology owed to @paulmanlyfor shameful treatment in 2015. And we must as party take clear stand opposing fracking and all new oil and gas infrastructure incl LNG, and Site C, champion UNDRIP + Pact for Green New Deal.”

That last reference was a direct shot at federal NDP Leader and Burnaby South MP Jagmeet Singh, who has thrown his support for a massive LNG project in B.C.

Robinson is unequivocally against fracking, the process used in LNG projects. Singh’s support for this LNG project is at complete odds with Robinson. It’s ironic because Singh is completely opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

It’s another example of Robinson speaking his mind when most politicians are whipped into submission by their own parties. It’s what makes him popular with some voters and makes party faithful cringe.

It’s nice to see Robinson hasn’t lost his edge.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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