B.C. NDP leadership into home stretch

Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog (left) endorses Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth for the NDP leadership.

Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth unveiled his ninth endorsement Wednesday, as the contest for the next B.C. NDP leader heads for its voting day on April 17.

Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog considered his own leadership bid after being part of the group who forced out former leader Carole James in December. Now he says Farnworth is the “only leader” who can unite the party and win an election against Premier Christy Clark.

“I think Mike Farnworth represents the character, experience and ability that’s going to win the next election,” Krog told a news conference at the B.C. legislature Wednesday. “That’s no reflection on Carole. The voters had their conclusion twice with Carole. We didn’t win. I’m convinced, as are many others in the caucus and many in the party,  that with a new leader we could win.”

Farnworth said the fact that six of the 13 dissident MLAs have endorsed his candidacy shows that the “reunification process” is going well, and that’s important with an uncertain year ahead. Clark’s hesitation to seek a seat in a by-election in former premier Gordon Campbell’s constituency suggests a provincial election could come as soon as this summer, he said.

A cabinet minister in previous NDP governments, Farnworth has attracted endorsements from around the province. They include West Kootenay MLA Katrine Conroy, Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson, Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming, Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley, Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Jagrup Brar and Delta North MLA Guy Gentner.

Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix has his own leadership supporters, including Surrey MLAs Harry Bains, Sue Hammell and Bruce Ralston, Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall and former NDP leader Joy MacPhail.

Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan’s team includes Burnaby-Deer Lake MLA Kathy Corrigan, Esquimalt-Royal Roads MLA Maurine Karagianis, Skeena MLA Robin Austin, North Island MLA Claire Trevena, Alberni-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser, North Coast MLA Gary Coons, Cowichan Valley MLA Bill Routley and Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali.

The other leadership contenders, Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons and marijuana activist Dana Larsen, have trailed in polls and do not have support among elected NDP members.

Party-sponsored debates continue around the province. Candidates were in Qualicum Beach Tuesday talking about health care, with youth the theme for Thursday night’s debate in Victoria. Audio or video files of debates are available here.

The final three debates are environmental sustainability April 2 in Vancouver, energy in Prince George April 4 and jobs April 6 in Terrace.

Just Posted

Free blood type tattoo with donation draws crowds in Finland

One in two people is eligible and able to donate blood, but only one in 60 people actually do

Greater Victoria workforce gets older but also more diverse

By 2036, Greater Victoria will have roughly two workers for every person 65 years and older

Greater Victoria enjoys sunny first day of spring

Summer-like temperatures of 21 degrees hit Wednesday for first day of spring

Sooke mayor vows to fix building permit delay

Maja Tait describes the current process as ‘a mess’

Sooke painter highlights Emily Carr at all-portrait show

Whether or not you are a fan of Emily Carr’s work, check… Continue reading

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Volunteer green team joins forces to restore local habitats

Partnerships with schools educate and facilitate remediations

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read