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

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

A Milbert’s tortoiseshell rests on a flower. Nature Chilliwack says butterfly gardens for every stage of life are possible using plants native to the area. (Photo/Nature Chilliwack)
Nature Chilliwack offers butterfly garden tips

Gardens can be created using local plants, the nature club says

(Photo/Mary-Jean Coyle)
Community Camera for June 11, 2021

Submit your photos to news@ahobserver.com

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read