Simons drops out of NDP leadership race

With just over a week to go before B.C. NDP members pick a new leader, Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons has dropped out.

Simons announced his decision Thursday and said he is supporting Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan. Simons has trailed front-runners Mike Farnworth, Adrian Dix and Horgan in recent polls, and has even polled behind marijuana activist Dana Larsen, the only non-MLA in the contest.

“I spoke to Mike and Dana last night, and to Adrian this morning,” Simons said Thursday. “All the candidates are my friends, and that’s not going to change. But I think John Horgan will surprise and impress a lot of people, as he has impressed me.”

Like Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali, Simons dropped out after expressing concerns about the NDP’s $15,000 entry fee for the leadership contest, and the requirement that all leadership funds raised by split 50-50 with the provincial party. Simons took part in the province-wide series of debates sponsored by the party, which finished up Wednesday evening in Terrace.

The NDP holds a province-wide vote of members that concludes April 17 with a convention-style event at the Vancouver convention centre. After advance polls for the phone and Internet vote, the party plans a series of voting rounds at the leadership assembly to determine the winner by 6:30 p.m.

Simons was one of the 13 MLAs who refused to support Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James as party leader last year, precipitating her resignation and the contest to replace her.

Just Posted

Hay bales and high fives for Port Alberni soapbox derby

New track on Lower Argyle Street gets a thumbs up

Brush fire breaks out near Taylor Arm Park

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 west of Port Alberni

Rosalind Chapman seeks seat on Port Alberni city council

Community volunteer and longtime Alberni Valley resident Rosalind Chapman will seek a… Continue reading

Accident causes power outage on Beaver Creek Road

One sent to West Coast General Hospital in crash

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

BC Wildfire merges two Okanagan wildfires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

Most Read