The British Columbia Government and Service Employees Union was one of Carole James's biggest backers during the 2003 provincial New Democrat leadership, with its staff fund contributing $4,600 to her campaign. And Ms. James received a personal endorsement and $500 donation from union president George Heyman. But the New Democrats are still ten percentage points behind the Liberals according to the latest Mustel Research Group Ltd. poll. So, last night on Voice of BC, we asked Mr. Heyman, "Five years after, how do you think your investment is doing?"
His response: "Well, I supported Carole James for leader of the New Democratic Party because I thought she had a good, solid history as a community activist, a lot of experience as head of the B.C. School Trustees Association. But I also thought she was a person of great integrity and great sincerity, somebody who was honest and who you could trust. I thought that put up on a podium with the premier, with Gordon Campbell, she was the person who could form the starkest contrast in terms of the style of politics."
"This was a period, you'll remember, that was very, very polarized - 77 to 2 in the legislature, extreme actions, demonstrations on a weekly basis and British Columbians were getting tired of it. Carole James led the New Democratic Party from two seats to three seats and then 33 seats, came very close to winning the election and I think is seen by British Columbians as a credible leader - as somebody with integrity. I'm very happy with the result of the energy that I personally put into trying to help Carole James become the New Democratic Party leader."