The federal New Democratic Party has appointed a well-known former B.C. student activist as its national director.
Brad Lavigne moves into the party’s top administrative position after working as NDP Leader Jack Layton’s director of strategic communications. He was previously the federal NDP's director of communications.
Former NDP MP and ex-journalist Dick Proctor had been serving as the party's nartional director (also known as the federal secretary). Proctor , 68, filled the position on a temporary basis after Eric Hebert-Daly resigned following the 2008 election.
Lavigne's appointment comes after a March 10 Ipsos Reid/Canwest poll showed the federal NDP only has the support of 12 percent of the electorate. The Conservatives under Stephen Harper were at 37 percent and the Liberals under Michael Ignatieff were at 33 percent.
Prior to working for the NDP, Lavigne was chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. In the early 1990s, he was chair of the Pacific Region of the Canadian Federation of Students.
Lavigne also spent some time working in the the youth office within the premier’s office in the late 1990s under then-NDP premier Glen Clark.
Clark froze tuition for several years, which delighted student activists but which also displeased senior university administrators who were seeking additional sources of revenue.