The provincial New Democrats have a new man at the helm.
John Horgan, the MLA for Juan de Fuca since 2005, was named the new leader of the B.C. NDP official opposition last weekend in Victoria.
Horgan, who ran for the party leadership with Mike Farnworth, ended up as the only candidate after Farnworth dropped out of the race several weeks ago, throwing all his support behind Horgan. Farnworth said he made the decision to drop out as a way of uniting the party behind one strong face.
Horgan replaces Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix as party leader.
“Along with our strong, united team of dedicated MLAs, I’m going to get right to work fighting for B.C. families, B.C. jobs and the B.C. economy,” Horgan said. “The B.C. Liberals are making life less affordable for hard-working families, and they need a strong voice to stand up to them in the legislature, in their communities, and across the province. That’s what we’re going to do under my leadership.”
In his acceptance speech, Horgan thanked Dix for his years of leadership.
“I want to thank Adrian for his hard work and dedication as leader of the Opposition for the past three years,” he said. “Adrian has a relentless commitment to community and works harder than anyone I know. He has been instrumental in building a strong, unified caucus, and will continue to be a tremendous asset for our team going forward.”
Powell River-Sunshine Coast NDP MLA Nicholas Simons said he is looking forward to continuing his working relationship with Horgan.
“I think John is going to be very good. I supported him in the last leadership race when I dropped out, so nothing has changed in that regard in my mind,” said Simons. “He has the enthusiasm, the energy and the kind of personality that draws people in.”
Simons admitted that the NDP and Horgan have a tough job ahead of them for the next three years.
“We have an important job to do and that is to try to influence the government’s policies in a positive way,” Simons said. “For us the challenge is to reach out to as many people as we can. John knows that we can get things done and he’s ready to meet the challenge.”
© Coast Reporter