Good morning. It’s James Keller.
As soon as British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan announced his plans last month to step down, cabinet minister David Eby’s name has been at the top of the list of potential successors.
Mr. Eby has been among the highest profile members of the NDP cabinet in his roles as Attorney-General and Housing Minister, and before the NDP took power he was one of the party’s most vocal and effective critics of then-premier Christy Clark’s Liberal government.
Several of his cabinet colleagues have confirmed they don’t plan to run for the leadership, including Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Ravi Kahlon, who pre-emptively endorsed Mr. Eby when he announced he wouldn’t be running two weeks ago.
Mr. Eby formally announced his candidacy on Tuesday, setting the stage for what could be a coronation when the party elects a new leader in December. He said he already has the support of 48 of his caucus colleagues out of the NDP’s 57-member caucus.
Mr. Eby tells The Globe’s Andrea Woo that he sees the level of support from his caucus colleagues as an endorsement of Mr. Horgan. He said he would offer “consistency and that stability” as the province tackles a range of pressing issues such as access to family doctors and increasing cost of living owing to inflation.
Before entering politics, Mr. Eby graduated from law school and then worked as a lawyer with Pivot Legal Society in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where he focused his efforts advocating for the city’s homeless population. He went on to be executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association as the group championed issues such as reforming police use-of-force and surveillance.
He won a seat in the legislature in 2013, when he unseated then-premier Christy Clark in the riding of Vancouver-Point Grey. He was re-elected twice, and appointed by Mr. Horgan to his current roles as Attorney-General and Minister of Housing in 2017 and 2020, respectively. He is resigning for cabinet to pursue the leadership.
He launched a public inquiry into money laundering, led the province’s response on housing and overhauling the Insurance Corp. of B.C. He also initiated legal action against Purdue Canada to recover health care costs associated with the company’s opioid medications, which resulted in a recent $150-million proposed national settlement.
Mr. Eby said he would continue the government’s work on climate change, drug treatment and mental health.
Nominations close for the leadership race in early October, and the new leader will be chosen on Dec 3.
This is the weekly Western Canada newsletter written by B.C. Editor Wendy Cox and Alberta Bureau Chief James Keller. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for it and all Globe newsletters here.