Former BC Premier Dies

Former British Columbia premier Dave Barrett has died at the age of 87.  

A statement from Premier John Horgan's office says the former NDP premier died after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.  “His sense of humour and ability to command a room with his oratory was legendary. First and foremost, I will always remember his commitment to working for regular people. “He was an inspiration to me and many other British Columbians, and I am grateful for his friendship and guidance over the years. His legacy will live on in our hearts."

Barrett was first elected to the B.C. legislature in 1960.  A former social worker from Vancouver, Barrett became known as the champion of the little guy.  He was elected eight times as a provincial member of the legislature and elected as a federal New Democrat MP in 1988.

“He was a bold premier for a bold era. Barrett’s government marked a political coming of age for our province,” says BC Federation of Labour President Irene Lanzinger.  “His term as leader of BC certainly wasn’t a long time, but it surely was a good time to make BC a better place for working people.”    

Barrett made political history when his left leaning New Democrats defeated the five-term Social Credit juggernaut governments of W.A.C. Bennett in 1972.   He was B.C.'s first NDP premier from 1972 to 1975.