Fraser-Nicola New Democrat MLA Harry Lali says he and other MLAs are disappointed and feel a sense of betrayal for being singled out as dissidents. Powell River MLA Nicholas Simons also complained that he was “outed” as a dissident.
In an exclusive interview with Northern Insights, Mr. Lali offered additional comments:
“Our group ran a very quiet campaign against the leader. We complained to others mostly behind closed doors and we leaked criticism of Carole only to a few members of the media. We never once stood up in public and said bad things about Carole. We only did those things behind her back. Well, maybe not everything but most.
“Sure, we might have sent negative signals on the TV news but who knew that cameras would be present when Katrine Conroy resigned as Whip. No one besides Katrine had prepared anything to say. And the timing of that was not intended to embarrass Carole before the Provincial Council meeting. It just seemed that way. The issue of Bob Simpson had just arisen but Bob’s been a pain in the ass for years so we think Carol should have grown used to him. Maybe, she’s too thin skinned.
“For us, the issue is strong leadership. We want the party led by someone who would object to people causing internal disruption and taking the focus off the Liberal Government. Also, we think the leader should come from one of the under-represented groups of Canadian politics, perhaps a woman or someone with sensitivity to aboriginals and other minorities. Additionally, this is a time when the leader should be very experienced and know about issues that effect the entire province, not someone who has been focused on local issues.”
A member of Simons’ constituency said he had some sympathy for the dissenters:
“We have always supported the protection of privacy of people who lead a double life, where they are dissidents but maybe still have relations with loyalists. However in circumstances where you are a member of a political party which openly espouses loyalty, then we think it is entirely justifiable that members of that party be outed.”