Sixteen former provincial New Democrat MLAs have signed on to an email urging members of the party's governing council to stand behind their leader Carole James. The call comes just two days before the council is scheduled to debate constituency association resolutions calling for a leadership convention in 2011. Among the MLAs on that list are former premier Mike Harcourt, former opposition leader Joy MacPhail and former cabinet minister Paul Ramsey. "Carole has rebuilt our party and has brought NDP support up to record levels. We urge New Democrats to pull together and to keep focused on our goal," the email states. "Together we can win government and make a lasting difference in the lives of British Columbians." The following is a complete copy, which was obtained by Public Eye.
Dear fellow New Democrats,
As former New Democrat MLAs, we are writing this open letter to offer our encouragement to NDP members and provincial council delegates to stay focused on offering a strong opposition and a positive alternative to the BC Liberal government.
After ten years of BC Liberal government, British Columbians are looking to New Democrats to offer hope for a better future. Carole James understands this and is bringing people together to build a better alternative for BC. Compassionate and smart she is a listener who knows when to act. Carole will be a new kind of Premier and offer steady and determined leadership that can move BC forward.
She has a plan to win the next election and it is working. Under Carole's leadership, the NDP is poised for a major breakthrough.
We have all had the privilege of serving in New Democrat governments that made a positive impact on people's lives and transformed BC.
Collectively, we played a role in creating the Agricultural Land Reserve, establishing the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, implementing the first Human Rights Code, meeting the United Nations goal of protecting 12% of our land base, building 1200 units a year to house the homeless, bringing in the Environmental Review Process and establishing a modern day treaty process for recognizing First Nations land claims.
We have a historic opportunity to build on our achievements.
We support Carole's vision for British Columbia - a strong economy, supported by a dynamic public and private sector; smart investments in people, a renewed commitment to sustainability, and a strong, vibrant democracy - characterized by open and honest government.
Carole has rebuilt our party and has brought NDP support up to record levels.
We urge New Democrats to pull together and to keep focused on our goal. Together we can win government and make a lasting difference in the lives of British Columbians.
Lois Boone, Former MLA (Prince George-Mt. Robson)
Gretchen Brewin, Former MLA (Victoria-Beacon Hill)
John Cashore, Former MLA (Coquitlam-Maillardville)
Elizabeth Cull, Former MLA (Oak Bay-Gordonhead)
Anne Edwards, Former MLA (Kootenay)
Colin Gabelmann, Former MLA (North Island)
Evelyn Gillespie, Former MLA (Comox Valley)
Mike Harcourt, Former Premier (Vancouver-Point Grey)
Gerard Janssen, Former MLA (Alberni)
Catherine McGregor, Former MLA (Kamloops)
Joy MacPhail, Former Leader (Vancouver-Hastings)
Darlene Marzari, Former MLA (Vancouver-Point Grey)
Penny Priddy, Former MLA (Surrey-Newton)
Paul Ramsey, Former MLA (Prince George-North)
David Schreck, Former MLA (North Vancouver-Lonsdale)
David Zirnhelt, Former MLA (Cariboo-South)