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

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

Poll

Would Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons make a good B.C. NDP leader?

Yes 76%
174 votes
No 24%
54 votes

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."

Comments (16) Add New Comment
JamieLee
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.

0
0
Rating: 0
tim.
this will definitely inject some breaths of fresh air into the party.
0
0
Rating: 0
Shepsil
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.
0
0
Rating: 0
Marlene
YES ! YES! YES!..you go Nicholas
0
0
Rating: 0
David Schreck
How many New Democrats can speak for 15 min without mentioning health, education or poverty? Listen to Nicholas Simons in the two videos.
David Schreck
See http://www.strategicthoughts.com
And http://www.nostv.org
0
0
Rating: 0
Take Back Your BC
Who?
0
0
Rating: 0
Donald Robb
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.
0
0
Rating: 0
G B
@ 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.
0
0
Rating: 0
jansumi
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... <:>
0
1
Rating: -1
Charlie Smith
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
0
0
Rating: 0
VicBri
Shrek is just an old dinosaur rooting for the old dinosaurs so we can have more of the same old b.s politics we've been subjected to for way too long. After his "The Sky Has Fallen" on the NDP, and now his complete turnaround, he has lost all credibility with me and many others. Time to hang up your hat Shrek. Your opinions are no longer relevant.
0
0
Rating: 0
colm harty
Making a decision and acting upon it has to be a key leadership characteristic.The other tentative "candidates" obviously don`t have it.While the excellent Mr Dix has been out counting his chickens many of them have flown the coop.Bravo Mr Simon.
0
0
Rating: 0
Jude
Go, Nicholas! I can't think of a politician I would rather see as premier of this province. This man has what it takes, and what we need. (from a satisfied constituent)
0
1
Rating: -1
Antoinette
Shepsil, I believe both sides are re-united now. For sure within Caucus they are. And btw, Nicholas and a number of the others are ethical politicialns who DID keep their opinions private -- opinions they aired in a private caucus meeting where it belonged -- until the Leader and President and party brass publicised their dissent by labelling them by not giving them yellow scarves. He states that in the video interview. And as he's saying on cbc tonight, they're now looking forward through the windshield, not in the rearview mirror. So, let's join them!
0
0
Rating: 0
Antoinette
Last comment for the evening: I am very inspired by Nicholas's cbc interview, where he spells out " “The public should be the generators of good policy ”¦. they don’t like to see policy thrust on them ”¦ I’m going to be outlining specific policy principles – for discussions I think are important for the public to have about a number of different issues”¦. I want to ensure that we are implementing the lens of Sustainable BC, so people know we’re contemplating policy that’s in the best interests in the longterm, so we’re not just thinking about today, we’re thinking about tomorrow ”¦ eg for agricultural land, water, the forest industry to be sustainable into the future. We need policy that looks beyond the election cycle.”

And in this Strait interview he demonstrates how he is capable of wholistic thinking, which is what Sustainable BC policy-making does, linking things like Food Security and the environmental downside of transporting foods over long distances and the economic upside of supporting small (eg local food) businesses.
0
0
Rating: 0
Carla
Eeeeeek...Mr. Simons, if Jamie Lee Hamilton is looking to support you, RUN, do not walk, in the other direction.
0
0
Rating: 0
Add new comment
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.