|Former BC NDP MLA and Cabinet Minister to|
once again carry torch in Fraser Nicola riding
Previously elected four times as an MLA, Lali remains the longest-serving South Asian member in any Canadian provincial legislature or federal parliament.
Lali was elected MLA for the riding of Yale - Lillooet in 1991 and 1996, including a role as the Minister of Transportation and Highways from 1998 to 2001.
The following election, he choose not to run, however he returned to Victoria in 2005 for the Yale Lillooet riding, and was re-elected again in the 2009 election in the new riding of Fraser Nicola. Lali was not so lucky next time out as he was defeated by the Cache Creek Liberal candidate Jacki Tegart.
Some will also recall that Lali did not win any friends, with those at the top of the NDP, following a caucus revolt in 2010, which he was part of.
That may also be a reason why the "Welcome" mat was NOT out when he declared his intention to again seek the Fraser Nicola nomination for the NDP ... so much so that NDP leader John Horgan made it abundantly clear the four-time MLA was not welcome. This was muted however, by Horgan saying he (Lali) was not the 'preferred nominee' for Fraser-Nicola.
BC NDP Leader John Horgan likely had to choke on these words (few as they were), that he would have been required to say, following Lali's win today.
“Harry Lali has a long record of standing up for people and communities in BC’s interior. It’s time for a government that works for everyone all across BC.”
As for Lali himself, he seems to know how he's going to win the campaign against current BC Liberal MLA Jacki Tegart ... he's going on the attack against her, and Christy Clark.
“Christy Clark has ignored the industries that our communities depend on,” said Lali. “While her rich friends enjoy billions in tax breaks, people here are paying the price. Just ask the 250 Tolko sawmill employees who lost their jobs in Merritt.”
Lali stated, “Since becoming premier, Christy Clark has increased your MSP premiums, ICBC and BC Hydro rates, and raised tuition fees for your kids. Christy Clark has not been working for you, and the Liberal MLA has also been missing in action for four years. An MLA’s job is to fight for constituents and community issues.”
“Here in Fraser-Nicola, working people and their families deserve a government that is making things better, not harder. That’s why I’m standing with John Horgan and the NDP – to make our BC better.”
With Lali's win today, the race is now official on to see who wins after votes are cast on May 9th. My predication? Lali by under 100 votes.
In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth.