A pivotal provincial by-election is set for the end of January in Nanaimo.

A Liberal win could tip the balance of power in Victoria giving the Grits 43 seats to the NDP/Green’s 43 seats.

The NDP candidate, Sheila Malcolmson said she’s been out door-knocking already and is finding affordable housing, homelessness, healthcare and childcare are top of mind for people.

Of the campaign, she says, it’s going to be quick.

“It’s going to be a short campaign compared to that federal one in 2015 where we just went on for months and months. This is going to be good, I am excited to move quickly towards the vote on January 30th.”

Tony Harris is running for the Liberals and said he understands the spotlight the riding will be under.

“There’s a lot of distraction that will be put out there talking about what it means for the future of the province and I get that, but that being said what that means for Nanaimomites is there will be a lens on Nanaimo that’s never been on Nanaimo and may never be again. We have an opportunity to really call for a thoughtful approach to the future of our community and the needs that we have and that’s what we will remain focused on.”

Harris said Nanaimo is growing and there are some issues that need to be addressed to keep pace but at the same time, employers need to be attracted to the community to provide jobs that keep, and attract, people to the region.

Michelle Ney is running for the Green Party and said, for her, there are three top issues.

“Homes for each and all in our riding, draw small and mid-sized businesses to Nanaimo that are in the clean and sustainable industry and we need to address our transportation which I have been incredibly frustrated with.”

She said the election will be significant for the province and it will provide an opportunity for the City to be heard.