The house was packed and an exuberant crowd welcomed the news that MLA John Horgan would take a run at the leadership of the NDP party in B.C.
On Monday night Horgan, MLA for Juan de Fuca, was joined by neighbouring MLAs and high-profile party members, including former leader Carole James, Maureen Karagianis, Bill Routley and federal MP Randall Garrison.
Former party leader Carole James said John Horgan has earned the respect of the stakeholders because he didn’t play games and because he was a straight shooter who knows where he stands and where his values are.
“He gets it,” she said.
When Horgan took the podium he said. “My name is John Horgan and I want to be the leader of the B.C. NDP.”
That rallying cry roused the audience who gave him a standing ovation while waving placards and cheering.
Horgan stated they had just come through a devastating election campaign and they did not form the government they expected to form.
“The challenge for us as NDP is to reassess where we fit in the lives of British Columbians,” said Horgan.
Horgan had previously stated he would not run for leader but would like to see younger candidates step forward.
“I did not want to be an obstacle for change,” he said.
Horgan talked about his core values and how he became a social democrat. His values, he said, came from his mother and Tommy Douglas.
The notion of socialism and free enterprise are outdated and the young are looking at issues around the environment and sustainability, said Horgan.
He said, “there is a balance to be struck” and an absolute necessity to exploit resources through a rigourous regulatory process. He said B.C.’s resources belong to all of us. ”Enough is enough,” he said in reference to the present government.
The leadership convention takes place in Vancouver in September, 2014.