New Westminster MLA Dawn Black emerges from caucus meeting Wednesday where she was elected interim NDP leader.

Interim NDP leader walks into storm

VICTORIA – New Westminster MLA Dawn Black took over as interim leader of the B.C. NDP Wednesday, as the divided party ran into further turbulence over allegations of improper member sign-ups in the leadership campaign to select a permanent leader.

A veteran of three terms in Ottawa as an NDP MP, Black was the unanimous choice of MLAs who attended Wednesday’s caucus meeting, including former NDP leader Carole James.

Black said she has no intention of disciplining any of the 13 MLAs who turned on James and forced her resignation in December, some of whom attended Wednesday’s meeting.

“We don’t have dissidents now,” Black said. “We are united around that caucus table, we’re moving forward, we’re putting the past behind us.”

Black serves as B.C. NDP leader until a province-wide leadership vote is held April 17. Rival candidates Mike Farnworth and Harry Lali lodged formal complaints with the party Monday after Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix’s campaign filed his new memberships to meet the eligibility deadline to vote for a new leader.

Lali said the Dix campaign brought in “thousands” of memberships from the Indo-Canadian and Filipino communities, with cash donations brought in separately in bags. Donations were supposed to be attached to each membership to show that people paid their own fees.

James, who took a holiday in Mexico after resigning as leader in early December, said she has no regrets and expects the party to move on united under a new leader.

She said she is looking forward to serving as MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill until the next election, without the pressure of being the opposition leader.

“I’ve been incredibly blessed to have a community that has been gracious and has accepted the time I’ve spent on the road,” James said. “This is my chance to be a local MLA.”

The NDP also chose new caucus officers, some of whom resigned those positions over the expulsion of Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson last fall.

Vancouver-Hastings MLA Shane Simpson was elected caucus chair, with Burnaby-Deer Lake MLA as deputy.

Esquimalt-Royal Roads MLA Maurine Karagianis was elected caucus whip, with Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Raj Chouhan as deputy.

Just Posted

Pioneer Park playground opens for fun and play

The $160,000 playground is wheelchair accessible and funded partly through grants

After 30 years, Agassiz’s Miss Marge set to retire from Variety Play

From 1989 to today, Miss Marge has taken generations of kids through the district play program

RCMP believe Missing Hope teenager was headed to Chilliwack

Keely Reeze Loewen, 18, last in contact with a family member on June 13

Summer service by bus from Chilliwack to Cultus Lake starting soon

Seasonal change will see bus service from Vedder Road to Cultus elementary until Labour Day

Chilliwack trustees divided on Trans Mountain pipeline route near two schools

School district will pen letter to NEB to ask for re-routing away from schools to be considered

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

New Westminster police seek video of fight between two teens

Police responded to a fight at Pier Park in the early hours of June 14

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

B.C. temporarily halts resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

‘The Fonz’ gives thumbs up in letter to dyslexic students at B.C. school

Students in Maple Ridge reached out to Henry Winkler after reading one his Zipster books.

Most Read