Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald (NDP).

Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald (NDP).

MLA Macdonald supports Mike Farnworth bid

Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald has thrown his support behind provincial NDP leadership candidate Mike Farnworth.

  • Jan. 25, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald has thrown his support behind provincial NDP leadership candidate Mike Farnworth.

Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, declared his run for the provincial NDP leadership on Jan. 13.

Macdonald told the Times Review he supported Farnworth because he’s “a solid performer” with experience in local government who also held several ministerial portfolios from 1997 to 2001 when the NDP was in power.

Macdonald said he supports Farnworth’s focus on issues including rural development, building a sustainable economy and seniors care.

When asked why Farnworth was the right candidate for this riding, Macdonald says Farnworth is in tune with local infrastructure challenges and also respects local decision-making. He’d be an effective leader of the opposition and, “more importantly serve effectively as a premier that makes the re-investments in rural British Columbia both at the community level (and also in) the land base that’s needed.”

Macdonald was one of the 13 so-called Baker’s Dozen dissident MLAs who prompted Carole James’ exit as party leader in late 2010. Farnworth wasn’t one of them. What does this say about the state of internal NDP politics? Macdonald says Farnworth is a unity candidate who has maintained the confidence of all caucus members, and also musters support from rural B.C., Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

When asked to summarize his decision, Macdonald said: “Mainly what you have is somebody who is competent, ethical (and) responsive to the issues that the people feel are important. I think he’s certainly the right person for the time – for the NDP and for the province.”