Although it was looking like former Attorney General and Housing Minister David Eby was a shoo-in for BC NDP Leadership, Anjali Appadurai has officially joined the running. This move will add some nuance to the electoral race, while making it a lot more, well, race-like.

The stakes are high. The new leader of BC's NDP will be on track to become the province's next Premier and successor to current NDP leader and Premier, John Horgan. Horgan, who has led the BC NDP since 2014, announced in June that he will be stepping down from his leadership roles. Horgan has cited health concerns as the driving force behind stepping away, but it's no secret that his time as Premier has been challenging and he's faced no shortage of setbacks, controversies, and criticism

BC could benefit from a fresh face in leadership and Appadurai is no stranger to politics. In 2021, she ran for the federal NDP, stating that she would take meaningful action on affordable housing, universal pharmacare, student debt, Indigenous rights, clean water, and getting profit out of long-term care. Although she finished second in Vancouver-Granville, it was a particularly close race. She lost to Liberal Taleeb Noormohamed by less than 500 votes.

Beyond her political resume, Appadurai is a notable climate and human rights activist and the Director of Campaigns for the Climate Emergency Unit. She has stated her 2022 campaign will focus on addressing the climate emergency, improving healthcare and food security, reducing overdose deaths, increasing affordability, and creating accessible housing. 

"I feel incredibly lucky to call BC home, and yet I fear that we're on a dangerous path. I was raised to believe that all humans are equal, that we're all connected to each other in a web of life. I believe in service to community for the good of the whole," Appadurai said solemnly in a Tweet posted yesterday. "Here in BC, we were hit with one climate disaster after another. An entire community incinerated, farms under water, hundreds of people killed in a heatwave. And yet our government wants to push ahead with the status quo. And it's not just climate, it's healthcare, it's housing, it's the sheer number of our friends and family who died in the past two years. The system is unravelling... I've answered the call of a movement. I've agreed to be the candidate and the spokesperson. But this campaign belongs to you."

Appadurai is up against Eby, a civil rights lawyer and affordable housing advocate who formally announced his intentions to run for NDP leadership on July 19. He stated in July that he welcomes competitors, and is sticking to his story.

The deadline to join the BC NDP and be eligible to vote in the leadership is September 4, and voting will start on November 13. BC's new NDP leader and Premier will be announced on December 3.

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