News

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Fleming considering NDP leadership

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming says he
Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming says he's considering running for the BC NDP's top job.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Rob Fleming says pessimism among provincial New Democrats following last May's surprising election defeat is making him consider run for his party's top job.

The 42-year-old Victoria-Swan Lake MLA says he's "actively considering" vying for leadership of the NDP.

"I think not only does our party need new leadership, but the province needs a vision that is in tune with where I think mainstream British Columbia is at," he said. "People want a government that cares about social justice issues and environmental stewardship, and has a strong economic plan. … That's why I joined the NDP. And the fact that we're not known right now as that party is, I think, the problem around failing to win elections."

Fleming was a strong supporter of Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth in the April 2011 leadership race. Farnworth narrowly lost to Adrian Dix. At the time Fleming said he wasn't considering running for leadership.

"It just doesn't work for me right now," he told the News in January 2011. "It would be difficult for me. I have two small children, neither are school-aged yet, and I'm just enjoying being an MLA."

While his children are older, he says the May 2013 election loss is key in his decision-making.

"What's changed is that the NDP has lost another election that it should never have lost. And I think a lot of people in the party have reached the pessimistic conclusion about that, that the coalition isn't big enough for the NDP to win government. I categorically reject that," he said.

In the coming weeks, Fleming, who was raised on the North Shore, plans to speak with colleagues and organizers to gauge his level of support, particularly in the Lower Mainland.

"It's important to have a strong organization in the Lower Mainland if you don't come from there," he said.

Fleming says he expects to make a formal decision in the next couple of months.

The BC NDP will select and announce its new leader this September, after a four-day day voting period.

Voting will take place within the party from Sept. 24-27, 2014 and a new leader will be announced on September 28 in Vancouver. Votes will be cast over the telephone and an Internet voting system.

– with files from Kolby Solinsky

kslavin@saanichnews.com

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
B.C. teachers ponder tentative deal ahead of vote
 
Saanich volunteers have fingers crossed for solid salmon season
 
Free veterinarian care offered at Our Place
Mother of dead girl charged with murder
 
Murder charge laid in death of Sooke woman
 
Hockey: From Russia to Alberni
Young eco-movie makers wanted
 
Chemainus driver injured in rear-end hit
 
Love is never over the hill

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.