NDP hopefuls downplay Harcourt’s rejection

Mike Farnworth, John Horgan agree the party has to recover its standing in rural B.C. and on resource development

Mike Harcourt endorses Mike Farnworth for the B.C. NDP leadership in 2011.

Former premier Mike Harcourt’s disenchantment with the NDP is a sign of the challenge ahead for the party after last year’s election loss, leadership candidates John Horgan and Mike Farnworth said Tuesday.

Harcourt has let his party membership lapse and gave several interviews this week to express his disappointment with the NDP’s performance in the 2013 election. Harcourt told the Globe and Mail he is not sure if his decision to quit the party is “a trial separation or a decree absolute,” but he won’t be voting in the leadership contest in September.

Horgan said he has spoken with Harcourt in recent weeks about the party’s standing in rural B.C., particularly after leader Adrian Dix’s mid-campaign decision to oppose the expansion of the Trans-Mountain oil pipeline from northern Alberta to Burnaby.

“The message it sends to me is that I have a lot of work to do,” Horgan said. “I have a lot of work to convince Mike Harcourt and other New Democrats and all British Columbians that there’s a better way for us to proceed, a balanced approach to the economy and the environment.”

Harcourt, the former Vancouver mayor who served as premier from 1991 to 1996, endorsed Farnworth in the 2011 leadership campaign.

Farnworth said Tuesday he agrees with Harcourt’s criticism, and the struggle to balance resource development with environmental concern has a long history in the NDP. It was Harcourt who faced the “war in the woods” in the 1990s over coastal logging and came up with land use plans that still serve B.C. today, he said.

“I think Mike is saying what he thought, and it’s reflective of the comments we heard after the election last May,” Farnworth said.

NDP members vote this fall on their choice to succeed Dix, with results to be revealed Sept. 28.

 

Just Posted

ELECTION: Langley Township council candidate Michael Pratt

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

VIDEO: Barn on fire near Golden Ears Bridge

Structure fire at 208 and 102B sending plumes of black smoke into air above Walnut Grove

Police want to talk to two pedestrians who might have witnessed shooting

Nobody injured in Sept. 18 shooting on Flagman Street in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Tributes for the man known as the “Mormon Giant”

Langley champion professional wrestler passes away

More people vote in Langley advance polls

Numbers nearly double in Township, but that may not be a result of increased interest

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

Man holds newborn son for first time after devastating B.C. racetrack crash

Kayden was born the day after Jonathan was crushed by car at speedway

Smooth start to legal cannabis in B.C., Mike Farnworth says

Online and government store makes 4,000 sales by noon

Fraser Valley Throwdown returns this weekend

Abbotsford event back for third annual crossfit competition

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Most Read