Over the summer, the British Columbia Medical Association notified its Vancouver members that former president Margaret MacDiarmid would be running for the provincial Liberal nomination in Vancouver-Fairview. But, in an interview with Public Eye, sitting president Bill Mackie said the association wasn't showing favouritism toward Dr. MacDiarmid - who won that nomination - or the Liberals by sending that email.
"We have supported other doctors that have been NDP members. So it's an equal opportunity kind of thing," said Dr. Mackie - citing former New Democrat legislators Tom Perry and Barb Copping as examples. "Each one is a one off type of thing. But, as a policy, we support doctors running for political office. And we do so in a non-partisan way."
"It's been the stand of the medical association to do that," he continued. "So it's not related to (Dr. MacDiarmid) being past, past president. In fact, she has very little role in the association right now. But, as an association, we have a mandate to encourage doctors to take a political stand and be active."
The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned email.
Date: August 12, 2008 3:57:20 PM PDT (CA)
Subject: Dr Margaret MacDiarmid
To All District 3 Members
This notice is to inform you that past-president, Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, will be running for the provincial Liberal nomination in the Vancouver-Fairview Riding (previously held by Mr. Gregor Robertson).
For more information you can visit her website at: www.margaret4fairview.com