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

Cops report explosion in number of thefts from vehicles in Central Okanagan

In just the first 2 1/2 weeks of 2018, the number has nearly tripled in Kelowna and West Kelowna

Kelowna and West Kelowna’s unsolved crimes of the week

RCMP are searching for a fraud suspect and vandal suspect in this week’s unsolved crimes

The Kelowna Rockets Down Under fan connection

Three bus loads of workers from around the globe gave the Rockets an edge Wednesday

Updated: Accused in Kelowna triple murder in court today

Jacob Forman has been in custody since he was arrested and charged with second degree murder

Lake Country supports West Kelowna request for share of cannabis tax

Mayor James Baker supports the letter in principle, but doubts it will get far

Kelowna’s Ursel to coach host team at Olympics

Bob Ursel is headed to the Olympics with South Korea’s national men’s curling team

Arson suspect heads to court

Vernon man suspected of starting a string of 2014 fires in Vernon

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

B.C. VIEWS: Public school ‘crisis’ doesn’t exist

More teachers pour in, union wants results suppressed

OK Falls pot shop vandalized a week after opening

Windows were smashed Wednesday evening and spray paint called the owner a “goof” and a “pedo”

Waters: Kelowna West finally gets to pick a replacement for Christy Clark

After stalling on the call for a bylection, Premier John Horgan sending voters to the polls Feb. 14

Most Read