NDP walks fine line on B.C. seats

Federal NDP leadership candidate Brian Topp walked into controversy over the allocation of seven new MP seats for B.C. Thursday.

Federal NDP president Brian Topp (third from right) is flanked by MLAs supporting his bid for the leadership of the national party Thursday.

VICTORIA – Federal NDP leadership candidate Brian Topp picked up more supporters on a visit to the B.C. legislature Thursday, and walked into a controversy over the allocation of six new MP seats for B.C.

The federal government revealed its bill to add 30 House of Commons seats Thursday, including six each for B.C. and Alberta, 15 for Ontario and three for Quebec. Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James, on hand to endorse Topp’s leadership bid, said based on population, B.C. should have nine more seats.

Topp is running to lead a federal party now dominated by Quebec MPs, and he avoided taking a position.

“The good news in the announcement today, if there’s any of it, is that we’re making progress,” Topp said. “Western Canada and Ontario should get more seats. And it’s the federal party’s job to look at the details and listen to the voices at speak up across the country, and to come to a judgment about what they think about the proposal.”

B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix issued a statement calling the seat decision unfair, saying it favours Alberta and Quebec at the expense of B.C. He said he will write to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking that B.C. get more seats.

B.C. Liberal MLA John Les accused Topp of supporting an increase that would keep the ratio of seats the same in Quebec and other provinces, as western provinces have grown faster.

Montreal MP Thomas Mulcair also brought his leadership candidacy to B.C. this week, reflecting the province’s importance as the home of one third of party members.

Topp, the federal party president, added six MLA endorsements Thursday. In addition to James, Vancouver Island MLAs Scott Fraser, Doug Routley, Bill Routley, John Horgan and Maurine Karagianis endorsed Topp.

On an earlier visit, Topp was endorsed by Surrey MLAs Sue Hammell, Bruce Ralston, Harry Bains and Jagrup Brar.

Just Posted

Haber nets strong comeback in Pacific FC home game win

Vancouver Island team takes 2-0 win over Valour FC

Improvements to Sinclair Road coming

Development comes after Cadboro Bay Residents Association (CBRA) raised concerns

Saanich councillor open to more commercial operations in local parks

Coun. Ned Taylor had raised the issue during his election campaign

Langford’s Sarah Beckett Memorial playground opens

Life of West Shore RCMP Constable honoured with new playground

Search for missing Saanich Peninsula pair ends in tragedy

Vehicle found with two deceased occupants inside

VIDEO: Here’s the news you missed this weekend

Some of the top weekend headlines from your community and beyond

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Most Read