Two-term MLA Nicholas Simons will run for leader of the B.C. NDP

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      Powell River-Sunshine Coast NDP MLA Nicholas Simons plans to enter his party's leadership race.

      Simons, who was first elected in 2005, told the Georgia Straight that people have become "disaffected" from the democratic process.

      He said that he has chosen to run for B.C. NDP leader because he wants to rekindle people's hope and get them more involved in decision-making.

      "I think it's important to have a new voice with a new approach," Simons said.

      He is positioning himself as the candidate for party renewal, saying that politicians should pay attention to good research and listen to public input before developing and implementing policies.

      Simons won the support of many environmentally minded voters in his constituency in the last election campaign by not criticizing the carbon tax. As an MLA, he introduced a private member's bill promoting food security and local agricultural production.

      He was one of 13 NDP MLAs who did not wear a yellow scarf in support of the current leader, Carole James, at a November NDP provincial council meeting in Victoria.

      Simons has a master's degree in criminology from SFU and is the former director of health and social development with the Sechelt Indian Band. He is a cellist, and he won a gold record playing on an album by the Chicago punk band Rise Against.

      He's also the first openly gay politician to seek the leadership of a major B.C. political party.

      When asked about that, he replied: "My joke answer is we really don't know a lot about Amor de Cosmos [a 19th-century premier]," Simons quipped. "I think that people are past that as an issue. I've got two brothers and three sisters. They're all straight."


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      Jan 4, 2011 at 4:44pm

      I am one of those very disaffected voters who despises the old line parties approach to serving the public interest. Far too often we have seen the top down style of leadership which concentrates power in the Leader and selective back-roomers who fail the test of leadership and serving for the greater public good.

      Perhaps with Nicholas this may change and he certainly from what I've seen recently seems to be bucking the establishment class in his party.

      I want to support him yet I'm hesitant because of concerns around how the leadership is decided and who calls the shots.

      Will things be different with Nicholas and his first test will be to state his opposition to the Missing Women's Inquiry which has been compromised as a result of the appointment of former Attorney General Wally Oppal.

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      Jan 4, 2011 at 7:46pm

      this will definitely inject some breaths of fresh air into the party.

      7 8Rating: -1


      Jan 4, 2011 at 7:54pm

      Yes he's an NDPer, but he is part of the split that has created division in the party. There were 14 dissenters and 22 who kept their opinions private. Now we need a leader who can unite both sides. Probably not a sitting MLA from either side.

      7 6Rating: +1


      Jan 4, 2011 at 8:40pm

      YES ! YES! YES! go Nicholas

      6 7Rating: -1

      Take Back Your BC

      Jan 4, 2011 at 8:52pm


      7 7Rating: 0

      Donald Robb

      Jan 4, 2011 at 11:27pm

      Nicholas represents a breath of fresh air a new way of governing. Top down approach is truly undemocratic Nicholas is willing to change that way of dealing with the citizenry. Listening to the people will bring a desirable result.

      8 8Rating: 0

      G B

      Jan 4, 2011 at 11:46pm

      @ David Schreck

      23 seconds into the first clip Nicholas says, "the main part of my career has been working in health and social services."

      What are you getting at, David?

      I am honestly considering joining the NDP to be able to vote for Nicholas.

      8 6Rating: +2


      Jan 5, 2011 at 12:40am

      Social Services, Director of Health & Social Development for the native band, Criminology, Arts, Health, Children, food security and farming - how exactly are health, education & poverty not covered in that line-up? He sounds Very promising. And he comes across well...
      (Okay, and i love the cello... <: )

      6 6Rating: 0

      Charlie Smith

      Jan 5, 2011 at 9:26am

      Here's one of Nicholas Simons's quotes that he told me in an audiotaped interview, which isn't part of the video: "We can't simply have a plan to reduce poverty in 10 years because there are kids in poverty now. And I've been close to people who are living in vulnerable conditions. I think that we can do so much better. We can use the resources that the province has in so much of a better way than we're doing it now. If we were actually thinking about the social policies that we enact, we would be thinking more in terms of prevention than we do right now. But at the same time, we do have to make sure kids are safe in our province."

      Charlie Smith

      7 6Rating: +1