B.C. NDP candidate Marji Basso resigns in Boundary-Similkameen

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      The B.C. NDP has lost its candidate in Boundary-Similkameen due to "personal reasons".

      New Democrat provincial secretary Jan O’Brien announced today (January 21) that Marji Basso has informed the party she is stepping down.

      “We accept Ms. Basso’s resignation,” O’Brien said in a news release. “We will be working with the local NDP constituency association to begin the candidate nomination process as quickly as possible.”

      Basso's resignation follows the B.C. Liberals' decision to prevent Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater from running for reelection under that party's banner due to "personal issues".

      On January 14, Slater announced he was leaving the B.C. Liberal caucus to sit as an independent.

      Today, Slater confirmed he won't run in the upcoming election and blamed the "politics of personal destruction".

      "We have reached a profoundly disturbing point in our politics in British Columbia. Instead of a campaign about positive ideas, good policy, and what is best for British Columbians, we are instead witnessing a campaign based on fear and smear. B.C. deserves better," Slater said in a statement.

      "I cannot put my family or myself through the continual barrage of innuendos and smear which have been launched against me, and which will continue until I withdraw as a candidate in the upcoming provincial election. So I say, 'Enough.'”

      The next B.C. election is scheduled for May 14.


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      Ian Fromme-Nelson

      Jan 21, 2013 at 3:15pm

      There, do you see how fair the NDP are?


      Jan 22, 2013 at 7:35am

      Qoute; B.C. Liberal president Sharon White said that Slater's candidacy was rejected due to "personal issues that, in our view, impact his ability to represent the Party"

      Personally, I don't care if John Slater can represent 'the Party'. John Slater was elected to represent his constituents not the party executive.


      Jan 22, 2013 at 11:30am

      Funny how an article about an NDP candidate stepping down morphs into a story that's 2/3 about a BC Liberal candidate stepping down. Great job in staying unbiased!


      Jan 22, 2013 at 11:57am

      Something's fishy here. Both these ex-candidates were in favor of the huge maximum security prison currently proposed for their little town of Oliver.

      Why an NDP candidate would favor a toxic project put forward by the BC Liberals is beyond me, especially given that no cost benefit analysis was ever presented on that issue. Just promises of untold economic benefits. There would be "no risks whatsoever", and hapless South Okanagan politicians were sucked in, imaginary dollar signs reflecting in their eyeballs.

      Surrey and Kamloops mayors have stated in the media that BC provincial prisons have brought social and economic negatives to their large cities. How will wee Oliver, not to mention other small communities in the area, survive those impacts? Do their social service agencies and police forces need even more caseloads?

      Oliver has panache and promise as a wine capital, a place with far more economic potential from agriculture, tourism, and recreation. It could become a prosperous "edge town" like Canmore, Alberta, if a National Park happens. But then, the politicians who are worried about the park are, in some cases, the ones who are excited about the jail. Bizarre, isn't it?

      At the project proposal's public meeting in Penticton, BC Corrections officials admitted that this facility is being built to federal maximum security standards, and that it could be turned into a federal prison at any time. Is that what's planned for Slater and Basso's Oliver area?

      Hopefully the NDP and BC Liberals will find new candidates who have the intellect and courage to tell their leaders that this region is not the place for a gigantic prison. Sure, we should deal with our fair share of inmates, but not 21% of all inmates in BC for Pete's sake. This regional district has only 1.4% of BC's residents.

      The BC Liberals' poorly thought out decision for a prison location is a sack of snakes for the South Okanagan, and the NDP should take a stand on this that reflects its party's perceived aims of social justice and a sustainable economy.

      The BC Liberals give Vancouver a free Convention Center and half a billion bucks for a Stadium upgrade. Their elected reps here think a prison that nobody else wants is a BC Liberal "gift" to us. Hopefully the NDP does not agree. There is still time for them to question this as no construction contract has been signed.

      Carolyn Jerome

      Jan 22, 2013 at 12:07pm

      is there a para missing from this story?

      Martin Dunphy

      Jan 22, 2013 at 12:26pm


      Please be more specific.


      Jan 25, 2013 at 9:54am

      There is no doubt the prison will be a large economic benefit to the area, the park on the other hand will be questionable at best.