Saanich NDP MLAs support Farnworth for party leader

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming and Saanich South MLA Lana Popham are throwing their support behind Mike Farnworth to be the new leader of the NDP.

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming and Saanich South MLA Lana Popham are throwing their support behind Mike Farnworth to be the new leader of the NDP.

Saanich’s two NDP MLAs are endorsing the leadership candidate they say will give as much attention to Vancouver Island as his mainland home.

Lana Popham (Saanich South) and Rob Fleming (Victoria-Swan Lake) believe Mike Farnworth is the best candidate to give the new premier a run for her money.

“We see excitement building around ideas that are put out there by Mike,” said Popham, who will announce her endorsement of Farnworth today. “The excitement that builds up around a leadership race and how you watch the public react to some of the candidates is interesting. I think people in B.C. are reacting quite positively to Mike and they see him as leadership material.”

Both Fleming, who threw his support behind Farnworth on Day 1 of his campaign, and Popham say Farsworth is the best person to unify NDP dissenters who helped oust former leader Carole James. And that’s crucial right now.

“We’ve been in opposition for a long time, and sometimes (opposition parties) fall into a rut where they are sometimes overly critical to the point of being seen as complainers,” Fleming said. “Mike Farnworth, I think, will position the NDP as a government-in-waiting and make the NDP a fundamentally optimistic party.”

Popham, who was one of 13 MLAs who played a role in James’ resignation, says the party is going through a time of “transition” right now.

“There was a need for change or rejuvenation of the party, and I think we’re here now,” she said. “We needed to start putting out ideas that were new and strong and progressive, and that’s what we’re getting from our leadership candidates – Mike especially.”

Despite John Horgan (Juan de Fuca) being the sole Vancouver Island candidate, both MLAs say Farnworth’s much higher profile and his inclusive leadership style gives him a better shot at beating Premier Christy Clark in the next election.

“I have no doubt that there’ll be equal value put on all parts of the province under Mike,” Popham said.

“He gets Vancouver Island. He gets the South Island,” Fleming added. “He genuinely likes this community and understands it and the issues that need to be dealt with here.”

Popham’s endorsement, expected today alongside MLA Guy Gentner, and former MLAs Corky Evans and Harold Steves, centres on his “bold agricultural policies.”

“Agriculture hasn’t been made a priority in the province. The budget has been deteriorating and core services have been eroding,” she said. “We’re at a point where we have to start reinvesting. It’s not spending, it’s investing – and Mike recognizes that.”

Esquimalt-Royal Roads MLA Maurine Karagianis endorsed Horgan.

James, the MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill, will not be endorsing a leadership candidate.

Just Posted

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

GardenWorks nursery in Oak Bay at its home until August. (Black Press Media file photo)
GardenWorks puts down new roots in Oak Bay this summer

Nursery shifts down The Avenue to fill former fitness studio space

The BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin saw 16 fawns come through in May, with another four in the first four days of June. (Courtesy Wild ARC)
An abandoned fawn doesn’t mean it’s orphaned, reminds Greater Victoria wildlife expert

20 orphaned fawns turned in to Wild ARC in Metchosin so far this season

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read