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

Support pours in for Bowser couple whose home was destroyed by massive blaze

GoFundMe page reached $10,000 in one day for soon-to-be parents

Genre-hopping harpist, singer to perform in Parksville

Musician on a quest to demystify harp playing GZAL on Jan. 24

Councillor has concerns about Qualicum Beach pot shop decision

Debate over location, public consultation and timing continues, though commitment already made

Oceanside RCMP arrest man wanted on several outstanding warrants

Hudson David Klassen, 26, picked up in Parksville

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Truck convoy honouring Nanaimo boy who died after being struck by vehicle

Trucks left from Victoria and others joined along the way up the Island

Parksville addictions treatment advocate to speak in Port Alberni

Recovering addict Kelly seeks to share more of her story with second event

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Elderly man dead following Union Bay collision

Crash happened Sunday afternoon

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Most Read