North Vancouver Councillor Beats Jagrup Brar To Be New Party President

Craig Keating has been selected as the new president of the BCNDP replacing Moe Sihota. The final vote count for the President’selection came down to 484-303 with Keating beating challengerJagrup Brar with a 182 vote margin.

VANCOUVER — BritishColumbia’s New Democratselected North Vancouver councillorCraig Keating as new partypresident. Keating beat out challengerJagrup Brar, the formerSurrey NDP MLA who lost theMay election to Liberal PeterFassbender.The final vote count for thePresident’s election came downto 484-303 with Keating beatingBrar with a 182 vote margin.Keating was elected Sunday onthe final day of the Oppositionparty’s weekend convention inVancouver, where memberscontinued to dissect what wentwrong in the May election, whenthe New Democrats lost despitean apparent 20-point lead in thepolls, while they map a way forward,reported CTV.The failed campaign promptedparty Leader Adrian Dix toannounce his resignation,though he will stay on in theposition until a successor is chosen.Keating, a five-time citycouncillor from NorthVancouver, was elected toreplace outgoing president andformer cabinet minister MoeSihota, who didn’t seek re-electionafter his term as presidentended.”Top of mind for B.C.New Democrats right now isrenewal,” Keating said in a statement.”I look forward to working tobring people together in thatprocess while at the same timehelping the party organizationreach its overarching strategicgoals.”Keating, who was first elected toNorth Vancouver’s council in1999, was one of many NDPcandidates who went into thespring election campaign staringahead at potential victory onlyto suffer an unexpected defeat.He lost in his riding of NorthVancouver-Lonsdale to theincumbent, Liberal NaomiYamamoto.The NDP started the campaignwith a 20-point lead in opinionpolls, with some pundits — andindeed, the party’s own leadership– convinced a NewDemocrat victory was all butcertain.In the end, the NDP was worseoff than when the writ wasdropped, losing a seat in theprovincial legislature.The election review committeereleased its report earlier thismonth, echoing what hadbecome conventional wisdom inthe province’s political circles.The NDP lost, the report said, because ofa “perfect storm” of missteps, including apositive campaign that left the partyunable to effective counter attacks fromthe Liberals, the lack of a clear and concisemessage in the party’s platform, andtoo much reliance on opinion polls.Notably, the report suggested the party’splace on the political spectrum wasn’t toblame. Dix has also singled out two mistakesduring the campaign: an announcementto scrap an education grant programto fund anti-poverty initiatives and a midcampaignpolicy announcement opposinga proposed pipeline expansion by KinderMorgan. Both were poorly communicated,the report said.

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