Climate activist Anjali Appadurai enters BC NDP leadership race
The contest to become the next leader of the BC NDP – and eventually premier of BC – is no longer a one-horse race.
Former federal NDP candidate and climate activist Anjali Appadurai, 32, officially announced on Wednesday that she would challenge David Eby, who resigned as attorney general and minister responsible for housing, for the top spot.
Appadurai, the campaigns director for the organization Climate Emergency Unit, said she chose to enter the race after a group of supporters pledged more than $40,000 in an online meeting on Saturday evening – enough to cover their registration fees.
“I think British Columbians are ready for a leader who will tell them the truth. We are in a very dangerous situation. But I believe in our collective power to shape a different future,” Appadurai said.
She said her campaign will focus on the environment, clean energy, housing, food security and empowering communities.
“Our province is not healthy. People are not healthy and the land is stressed,” Appadurai said. “We need a government that will put the health of people and the planet first.
In the 2021 federal election, Appadurai was the NDP candidate for the riding of Vancouver Granville. She lost to liberal Taleeb Noormohamed in one of the country’s tightest races, falling short by less than 500 votes.
Appadurai will face Eby, whose campaign so far has gone uncontested, winning the approval of 48 of the 57 BC NDP caucus members.
In a statement, Eby welcomed Appadurai to the race.
“I look forward to engaging in productive dialogue on the issues that matter most to British Columbians. This race is an opportunity for a healthy exchange of ideas and a chance for members to have their voices heard in the electoral process,” he said.
“I wish him good luck, but not too much luck.”
In June, Horgan announced he would step down before the next provincial election, citing a lack of energy after undergoing treatment for throat cancer.
Voting for the new leader will begin on November 13 and the winner will be announced on December 3.
Tough battle for Appadurai, expert says
Eby announced he was seeking leadership in mid-July. Prior to that, he had long been rumored as a potential candidate and favorite.
Hamish Telford, associate professor of political science at the University of the Fraser Valley, admits it will likely be an uphill battle for any challenger.
“He’s got a very substantial lead … She’s really going to have to catch up now and get known outside of activist circles in downtown Vancouver, but across the province,” Telford said, adding that she’ll likely have to do facing a major fundraiser. challenge.
While it’s unclear whether Appadurai will be able to close the gap, Telford says she will challenge Eby and the party intellectually.
“It will be a battle of ideas,” Telford said, pointing to Appadurai’s environmental and activist background.
He predicts it could prove an attractive option for BC NDP members who have felt disappointed with the government’s environmental record after Site C, LNG project and operation were approved. old forest.
Adam Olsen, Green Party MP for Saanich North and the Islands, is watching how Appadurai’s challenge for leadership will upend discussions during the race around the environment, saying Eby represents the status quo.
“For many years, the BC NDP has been considered good enough on the environment, and clearly, good enough is not good enough.
“I’m really looking forward to this debate happening in the leadership race.”