NDP MLA David Eby gains support among South Asians

The Vancouver–Point Grey legislator may enter his party's leadership race

Surrey is far away from David Eby’s Vancouver–Point Grey constituency. But on January 24, the New Democrat MLA was there being interviewed at the studio of Red FM, a predominantly Punjabi radio station.

Long considered a potential candidate for leader of the B.C. NDP, Eby appears to be connecting with the South Asian community.

Harjinder Thind, a popular radio host, interviewed Eby on his show. Thind sounded impressed with the young lawyer who unseated B.C. Liberal premier Christy Clark in Vancouver-Point Grey during last year’s election.

“Our South Asian community is quite sold on him as he’s a person of integrity,” Thind told the Straight by phone. “And a lot of people made comments that his party needs a young blood like himself who has the sympathy and feel for the common person on the street.”

Although Thind considers Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth and Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart as “fine people” who may also potentially succeed Adrian Dix, he indicated that Eby is the one needed by the provincial NDP.

“To me, I think if the party has to have some kind of future, they should rejuvenate and renew under the younger leadership,” Thind said.

Eby said that last Friday’s interview was the second he’d had with Red FM.

He noted that he’s doing a lot of ethnic-media interviews, including with Chinese radio and newspapers.

He acknowledged that it’s part of his weighing the idea of running for party leader this fall.

“I think that reaching out to all forms of community media, ethnic media in British Columbia and talking to those communities through their preferred newspapers and radio stations is absolutely a part of it,” Eby told the Straight by phone. “And I think that it’s one of the areas that, unfortunately, we didn’t do as well as we could have during the [May 2013] elections.”

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Alan Layton
It'll be interesting to see what he has to offer. He hasn't been nearly as visible as I expected, although it seems he's been active in the South Asian and Asian communities.
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