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

WIND WARNING: Metro Vancouver expecting 100 km/h gusts Saturday night

Environment Canada issues warns of possibly dangerous conditions

Agassiz tech training to connect generations

Upcoming event will have youth teaching technology to older residents

UPDATE: 24-year-old Lovepreet Dhaliwal ID’d as victim in targeted Abbotsford shooting

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

Harrison continues push for local doctor

Mayor has requested Fraser Health provide primary care services

Week in Review – January 19

Movie filming, water upgrades and more

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

VIDEO: Remember the Voyageurs at Fort Langley

Two-day historical festival underway

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Snow warning in effect for the Coquihalla

A snowfall warning is in effect from Hope to Merritt as slush and snow is expected on highways this weekend

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Most Read