OTTAWA – The prime minister Justin Trudeau is expected to trigger by-elections in three federal constituencies in the next few days. He could now add a fourth, while another seat popped up in the Commons.
Sheila Malcolmson has officially resigned from his position as a new democrat mp in the riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith, British Columbia.
She leaves the federal scene to run in a by-election provincial, convened on Wednesday by prime minister John Horgan and whose election is planned for 30 January.
Mrs. Malcolmson said to have sent a letter to the president of the House of commons Geoff Regan, on November 27, informing him that his resignation would come into effect on 2 January.
In addition to the Nanaimo-Ladysmith, three other districts are vacant: Burnaby South in British Columbia, where the NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is hoping to get his place in the house of Commons in the ontario riding of York-Simcoe, free, since the departure of the conservative Peter Van Loan, and the riding of montréal Outremont, formerly represented by Tom Mulcair.
The office of Justin Trudeau has confirmed that the prime minister had the intention to trigger by-elections in these three constituencies at the beginning of the month of January. The elections would take place at the beginning of February.
He could now add Nanaimo-Ladysmith to the list, although it showed little inclination to fill quick vacancies left in the past. Last October, the prime minister had been criticised for having announced a by-election on December 3, in a district of eastern Ontario, without including Burnaby South, York-Simcoe and Outremont.
In response, Mr. Trudeau had mentioned that the other three districts were free that since a “few weeks” and he recalled that the prime minister is allowed to wait for up to six months after the vacancy before triggering a by-election.
However, the situation in Nanaimo-Ladysmith is somewhat different. If Trudeau does not trigger quickly the by-election, she will remain as mp until the general election, on the 21st of October.
Under an omnibus bill to reform the elections act of canada, which came into force just before Christmas, the by-elections can no longer be triggered in less than nine months before a general election. Thus, the January 20, becomes the deadline for triggering a by-election.
At the same time, the new rule ensures that the district of montreal, Saint-Léonard – Saint-Michel, which is expected to lose his liberal mp Nicola Di Iorio on 22 January, will remain without a federal representative for a period of nine months.