Lali runs for leader

Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali has launched his campaign to lead the B.C. NDP, describing himself as an anti-establishment candidate who will reverse centralized control of the party.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali has launched his campaign to lead the B.C. NDP, describing himself as an anti-establishment candidate who will reverse centralized control of the party.

In a speech to supporters in his home town of Merritt Thursday, Lali blasted the NDP for loss of policy focus, neglect of rural B.C. and unfair gender equity rules.

“We need to re-democratize the New Democratic Party,” Lali said. “We need to end the control of the party and party apparatus that is increasingly being concentrated in the urban elites of Vancouver.”

Lali was one of 13 NDP MLAs who refused to support leader Carole James last year, forcing her resignation and triggering a party leadership vote set for April 17. That deadline leaves potential successors able to sign up new members until only mid-January.

Lali joins Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons, another James dissident, and marijuana activist Dana Larsen in the leadership contest. More MLAs are expected to put their names forward shortly.