Bob Skelly is shown in a British Columbia NDP handout photo. Former British Columbia New Democratic Party leader Bob Skelly has died. In a message posted on social media, Premier John Horgan says he is saddened to hear of Skelly’s death and thanks him for his years of service to B.C. and Canada. (BC NDP photo)

Bob Skelly is shown in a British Columbia NDP handout photo. Former British Columbia New Democratic Party leader Bob Skelly has died. In a message posted on social media, Premier John Horgan says he is saddened to hear of Skelly’s death and thanks him for his years of service to B.C. and Canada. (BC NDP photo)

Former B.C. New Democrat leader and B.C. member of Parliament Bob Skelly dies

Skelly served five terms in the B.C. legislature representing the Vancouver Island riding of Alberni

Former British Columbia New Democratic Party leader Bob Skelly has died at the age of 79.

In a message posted on social media, Premier John Horgan says he is saddened to hear of Skelly’s death and thanks him for his years of service to B.C. and Canada.

Skelly served five terms in the B.C. legislature representing the Vancouver Island riding of Alberni from 1972 until 1987.

He won the provincial NDP leadership in 1984, replacing former leader Dave Barrett, but was unable to lead the party to power against charismatic Social Credit leader Bill Vander Zalm.

Skelly was replaced as leader in 1987 and resigned his seat the following year to run successfully for the New Democrats in the newly created federal riding of Comox-Alberni, serving for one term from 1988 until 1993.

Skelly is survived by his wife, two children and several grandchildren.

The Canadian Press

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