New Westminster MLA Dawn Black emerges from caucus meeting Wednesday where she was elected interim NDP leader.

Interim NDP leader walks into storm

VICTORIA – New Westminster MLA Dawn Black took over as interim leader of the B.C. NDP Wednesday, as the divided party ran into further turbulence over allegations of improper member sign-ups in the leadership campaign to select a permanent leader.

A veteran of three terms in Ottawa as an NDP MP, Black was the unanimous choice of MLAs who attended Wednesday’s caucus meeting, including former NDP leader Carole James.

Black said she has no intention of disciplining any of the 13 MLAs who turned on James and forced her resignation in December, some of whom attended Wednesday’s meeting.

“We don’t have dissidents now,” Black said. “We are united around that caucus table, we’re moving forward, we’re putting the past behind us.”

Black serves as B.C. NDP leader until a province-wide leadership vote is held April 17. Rival candidates Mike Farnworth and Harry Lali lodged formal complaints with the party Monday after Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix’s campaign filed his new memberships to meet the eligibility deadline to vote for a new leader.

Lali said the Dix campaign brought in “thousands” of memberships from the Indo-Canadian and Filipino communities, with cash donations brought in separately in bags. Donations were supposed to be attached to each membership to show that people paid their own fees.

James, who took a holiday in Mexico after resigning as leader in early December, said she has no regrets and expects the party to move on united under a new leader.

She said she is looking forward to serving as MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill until the next election, without the pressure of being the opposition leader.

“I’ve been incredibly blessed to have a community that has been gracious and has accepted the time I’ve spent on the road,” James said. “This is my chance to be a local MLA.”

The NDP also chose new caucus officers, some of whom resigned those positions over the expulsion of Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson last fall.

Vancouver-Hastings MLA Shane Simpson was elected caucus chair, with Burnaby-Deer Lake MLA as deputy.

Esquimalt-Royal Roads MLA Maurine Karagianis was elected caucus whip, with Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Raj Chouhan as deputy.

Just Posted

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in Chilliwack

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says

HospitalPayParking.ca is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

B.C.’s best craft distilleries back in Chilliwack for Fraser Valley Distillery Festival

Small-batch spirits, appetizers, live music, candy and more come together for FV Distillery Festival

Another vacant house goes up in flames in Chilliwack

An ongoing problem with landlords not securing properties from squatters

Chilliwack curlers qualify for B.C. Mixed Doubles Championship

Allison Bourne and Stephen Strathdee survived a Lower Mainland playdown in Abbotsford last weekend.

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

Fraser Valley Bandits reveal mascot name

Berry the Bandit officially unveiled, makes first public appearance tomorrow

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

Mennonite Central Committee hosts fundraising banquet in Chilliwack

An evening of dining, sharing in community and storytelling at Sardis Community Church

Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying with taxpayers’ money

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

Most Read