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

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after concussion

Rookie is back practising after being sidelined by Florida defenceman Mike Matheson

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

UPDATED: 34 rescued off whale watching boat in Georgia Strait

Tour company says vessel experienced some kind of mechanical issue

Pipeline opponents blast Trans Mountain re-approval plan

Environmental advocates, First Nations leaders say NEB review has same flaws as it had before

Opioid crisis may be shortening British Columbians’ life expectancy: report

Canada among healthiest wealthy countries, but 8,000 overdose deaths since 2016 are causing concern

B.C. cold case helps ‘60 Minutes’ explain genetic genealogy

An arrest in the 1987 double-murder of two people from Victoria was one of three examples highlighted in a segment you can watch here

Delivery of cannabis could be impacted by postal strike

BC Liquor Distribution Branch look at alternative third-party delivery services

Around the BCHL: Chilliwack Chiefs snag spot in CJHL national rankings

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Most Read