NDP walks fine line on B.C. seats

Federal NDP leadership candidate Brian Topp walked into controversy over the allocation of seven new MP seats for B.C. Thursday.

Federal NDP president Brian Topp (third from right) is flanked by MLAs supporting his bid for the leadership of the national party Thursday.

Federal NDP president Brian Topp (third from right) is flanked by MLAs supporting his bid for the leadership of the national party Thursday.

VICTORIA – Federal NDP leadership candidate Brian Topp picked up more supporters on a visit to the B.C. legislature Thursday, and walked into a controversy over the allocation of six new MP seats for B.C.

The federal government revealed its bill to add 30 House of Commons seats Thursday, including six each for B.C. and Alberta, 15 for Ontario and three for Quebec. Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James, on hand to endorse Topp’s leadership bid, said based on population, B.C. should have nine more seats.

Topp is running to lead a federal party now dominated by Quebec MPs, and he avoided taking a position.

“The good news in the announcement today, if there’s any of it, is that we’re making progress,” Topp said. “Western Canada and Ontario should get more seats. And it’s the federal party’s job to look at the details and listen to the voices at speak up across the country, and to come to a judgment about what they think about the proposal.”

B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix issued a statement calling the seat decision unfair, saying it favours Alberta and Quebec at the expense of B.C. He said he will write to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking that B.C. get more seats.

B.C. Liberal MLA John Les accused Topp of supporting an increase that would keep the ratio of seats the same in Quebec and other provinces, as western provinces have grown faster.

Montreal MP Thomas Mulcair also brought his leadership candidacy to B.C. this week, reflecting the province’s importance as the home of one third of party members.

Topp, the federal party president, added six MLA endorsements Thursday. In addition to James, Vancouver Island MLAs Scott Fraser, Doug Routley, Bill Routley, John Horgan and Maurine Karagianis endorsed Topp.

On an earlier visit, Topp was endorsed by Surrey MLAs Sue Hammell, Bruce Ralston, Harry Bains and Jagrup Brar.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Grade 2 class of 150 Mile House Elementary attended Cariboo Memorial Hospital with teacher Kirsty Bowers to deliver “kindness” bags full of small gifts to housekeeping staff. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
150 Mile House students deliver gift bags showing appreciation for hospital staff

Students begin Monday morning with a bus trip to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
UPDATE: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read