In response to this question from the public, NDP candidate Dawn Black, the recently elected federal MP for the NDP references the illness of current NDP MLA Chuck Puchmayr as a driving force in her decision to leave federal politics and enter the Provincial race. This election posed too many important issues to allow the traditionally NDP riding to go to another party.
Green candidate Matt Laird had a zinger when he announced that he thought Ms. Black was doing a great job in Ottawa. He suggested she continue to do a good job… In Ottawa. Best laugh this evening.
Ms. Millar claims Ms. Black is shirking her responsibility to the public and leaving a $500,000 bill for the byelection to boot. Something tells me she doesn’t think that Dawn Black’s Provincial conversion was so funny. Black points out that with the current state of Federal politics, a general election will be called any time anyway so a byelection may not be necessary to begin with.
In closing statements, Liberal candidate Carole Millar announces that the NDP treats New Westminster as “a retirement post for the party faithful,” a possible dig at the age or Federal experience of Dawn Black. Both Laird and Black looked aghast at the comment. Calls of “low blow” are issued by the croud. Some are offended but many applaud the jibe, if only because it was so tawdry.
The comment doesnt really make sense to me as Puchmayr is not retirement material and in fact left the race due to illness. Federal New Democrat Peter Julian is quite young by MP standards so he cannot be said to have been given a plumb retirement post. Dawn Black does not seem to be retiring into the riding either, as she is clearly replacing the ailing Puchmayr and further is likely to become a clear leadership candidate for the Provincial branch of the NDP.
Matt Laird notes Ms. Millar’s comment is an example of why BC-STV should be approved: to help end the partisan name-calling and roadblocks that prevent our province from going forward. An STV presentation will follow the All Candidates debate.