In 2003, Carole James stepped forward to run for leadership of the BCNDP at a difficult time in our party’s history. We had two seats in the BC Legislature, and many people did not want to affiliate with us. Yet, Carole’s dedication to the NDP was clear during the leadership race, and in the end she received broad support to be BCNDP’s leader.
Over the past seven years with Carole as Leader, we have grown from those two seats to the largest Opposition in BC’s history and record high provincial support. Because she has always worked for the benefit of British Columbians, it wasn’t surprising when she started grassroots conversations to build a better BC via Our Province Our Future. Courageous, fair, compassionate are all words that describe Carole and her work.
In stepping down as Leader, Carole has again put her commitment to British Columbians first. It was not an easy decision, but it is one that she felt necessary to end the internal conflict within the BCNDP. British Columbians wanted to see the fighting stop, and so she stopped it.
In moving forward, we are not without challenges. As always, we will meet those challenges because we are a strong party and proud to be NDP. Most importantly, we value our province and have a continued dedication to the people of BC. Our focus must now be on getting ready to make a Government rooted in democratic principles and the values important to citizens. That focus is my commitment to you.
My thanks go out to Carole and her family for all that they have given to our province and our party over the past seven years. We have been the beneficiaries of their sacrifices and their generosity.
Happy Holidays to you and yours.