A SMALL group of NDP members and supporters came out to hear provincial leadership frontrunner Mike Farnworth answer questions and hear his opinions at Cafenara Feb. 1.
About 20 people listened as Farnworth said that while the provincial NDP is seen as the party of health care and strong education it is not seen as the party of jobs.
“First off, we should not be exporting logs. [We] are sending jobs overseas. That should stop,” said Farnworth who is the MLA for Port Coquitlam and the first NDP leadership candidate to visit the northwest.
“We have to look at innovative ways to help the community so I feel strongly the solution is in these communities.”
In response to a question about his priorities with energy efficiency and energy problems of the future, Farnworth said a number of things were possible.
“BC Hydro is public and should remain public. It is an asset and has a strong role in the economic development of the province,” he said, adding privatization of public companies needed to stop.
The carbon tax should be used to finance environmentally friendly projects, he said.
As for how he would be different as the leader of the provincial NDP, he said communication was important between the party and people and within the party itself.
Getting MLAs in the party to speak to each other again and move on is an important thing to unite the party and build the membership, he said.
“I never expected to take place what happened [the split in the caucus against Carole James’s leadership]. We want to have it together again so we have a platform for the election,” said Farnworth.
The party needs a platform people can get excited about, he said, adding that means one that speaks to people’s concerns and that speaks to the type of B.C. people want.
Farnworth has been his party’s opposition critic for public safety and solicitor general. He was also health minister in the last NDP government.
He is one of six candidates eyeing up the NDP leadership spot. Also running are Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan, Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons, Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali, Vancouver Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix and former West Vancouver federal NDP candidate Dana Larsen.