BC could see new leadership as early as November, with Attorney General David Eby officially in the running to be the next leader of the province's NDP.
Eby announced his much-anticipated news to run for leadership yesterday evening at Kitsilano Neighbourhood House in his Vancouver-Point Grey riding. Securing NDP leadership would position him to be BC's next premier and successor to current NDP leader and Premier, John Horgan.
This follows an announcement by Horgan in June that he will not be seeking re-election in 2024 and will be stepping down from his long-running leadership position. Horgan has led the BC NDP since 2014 and has faced many challenges to achieving housing affordability the province sorely needs. He will be stepping down as premier when a new NDP leader is selected, but will remain a MLA until the 2024 re-election. He has cited health concerns as one of the reasons for stepping down.
Ahead of his likely election, Eby is saying all the right things.
"I think I can deliver consistency and certainty at a very inconsistent time," Eby said yesterday in Kitsilano. "If I am successful British Columbians should not expect any radical changes from what John is doing. But if I am successful I definitely see some opportunities to respond to needs in fast growing communities. Around housing. Around essential infrastructure. Around awarding those cities that are approving that we need."
He is also doing all the right things.
Prior to announcing his bid, Eby resigned from his roles in cabinet, fuelling talks around town that he would throw his hat in the ring for leadership.
Eby, who is formally trained as a civil rights lawyer, has a track record of advocating for affordable housing and police reform, and tackling tough issues head-on. Most recently, he was involved with the overhaul of ICBC, which led to the corporation issuing rebate cheques to wronged customers. He was also at the forefront of the investigation into money laundering at the hands of BC real estate firm, Nu Stream Realty Inc.
Eby has strong support and no competitors to speak of yet. Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, Ravi Kahlon, and Minister of State for Infrastructure, Bowinn Ma, are amongst the notable MLAs who have not only bowed out of the electoral race, but have voiced their support for Eby's bid. Ministers Selina Robinson, Josie Osborne, Nathan Cullen, George Heyman, Melanie Mark, Katrina Chen, and Adrian Dix have also publicly stated that they will not be running.
That said, Eby welcomes competitors.
The deadline to join the party and be eligible to vote in the leadership is September 4 and the final candidate list will be released on October 4. Provided he runs unopposed, Eby could be sworn in as early as November. If other candidates join the race, the elected leader will be sworn in sometime in December.