Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a May byelection in British Columbia to fill a seat vacated by a former New Democrat MP.

The Prime Minister's Office has set May 6 as the date for the ballot for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

The riding opened up when former NDP member of Parliament Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January to run successfully for the provincial New Democrats.

Malcolmson was one of several NDP MPs who decided not to run again in October's federal election.

The list includes B.C.'s Murray Rankin, Alberta's Linda Duncan, Ontario's Irene Mathyssen and David Christopherson, Quebec's Helene Laverdiere, Romeo Saganash, Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet and Anne Minh-Thu Quach, and B.C.'s Fin Donnelly.

Bob Chamberlin, a long-serving chief councillor of a First Nation based on Gilford Island in the Broughton Archipelago off northeastern Vancouver Island, has said he intends to seek the NDP candidacy in Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

Chamberlin has worked in the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation and as vice president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. He has also worked with Liberal and Conservative governments, served as chair of several agencies and boards, and advocated on a range of issues.

Paul Manly, a researcher, filmmaker and communications specialist who has lived and worked in Nanaimo since 2002, is running for the Green party. Manly finished fourth in the riding in the general election of 2015, earning 19.8 per cent of the vote.

The Conservatives have selected 32-year-old financial manager John Hirst to run in the riding while Jennifer Clarke, who lost the nomination to Hirst, will represent the new People's Party of Canada, led by Quebec MP Maxime Bernier.

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