Simons drops out of NDP leadership race

With just over a week to go before B.C. NDP members pick a new leader, Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons has dropped out.

Simons announced his decision Thursday and said he is supporting Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan. Simons has trailed front-runners Mike Farnworth, Adrian Dix and Horgan in recent polls, and has even polled behind marijuana activist Dana Larsen, the only non-MLA in the contest.

“I spoke to Mike and Dana last night, and to Adrian this morning,” Simons said Thursday. “All the candidates are my friends, and that’s not going to change. But I think John Horgan will surprise and impress a lot of people, as he has impressed me.”

Like Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali, Simons dropped out after expressing concerns about the NDP’s $15,000 entry fee for the leadership contest, and the requirement that all leadership funds raised by split 50-50 with the provincial party. Simons took part in the province-wide series of debates sponsored by the party, which finished up Wednesday evening in Terrace.

The NDP holds a province-wide vote of members that concludes April 17 with a convention-style event at the Vancouver convention centre. After advance polls for the phone and Internet vote, the party plans a series of voting rounds at the leadership assembly to determine the winner by 6:30 p.m.

Simons was one of the 13 MLAs who refused to support Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James as party leader last year, precipitating her resignation and the contest to replace her.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Burned Jeep matches suspect vehicle in two shooting incidents

Police discovered vehicle on fire overnight in Yorkson neighbourhood in Langley

VIDEO: One man suffers serious injuries in crash that closed Fraser Highway in Langley (updated)

One vehicle ends up in ditch after car and SUV collide, air ambulance called in

UPDATED: Gunfire erupts in quiet Langley neighbourhood early this morning

Police have 79A Avenue cordoned off after reports of shots just before 5 a.m.

Upgrades could be coming to popular Penzer Park in Langley City (with video)

Council considers a staff proposal that would move up construction of planned washroom, benches picnic tables and shelter

VIDEO: celebrating Diwali in Langley

Muriel Arnason library marks event for 14th time

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

5 to start your day

A South Surrey shooting, Team B.C. wins the 2017 WHL Cup and more

Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

A ‘wardrobe malfunction’ with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy during his last appearance

A scary box office weekend for everyone but Tyler Perry

‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ scared up a healthy $21.7 million in its first weekend in theatres

Even as long-form census data returns, Statcan readies for day without it

Wednesday’s release is expected to show immigrants making up a larger share of the population

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Most Read