Former BC Premier Dave Barrett dies, aged 87

Former BC Premier Dave Barrett dies, aged 87

Former BC premier Dave Barrett speaking in the legislature in March 1975/Courtesy Times Colonist archives

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 in Victoria after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Barrett was first elected to the B.C. legislature in 1960.

“In just one short term, his government delivered our first modern ambulance service, the Agricultural Land Reserve and public auto insurance,” said Horgan in a statement. “We are all better off, thanks to his tireless work and immeasurable contributions to public life.”

The former social worker from Vancouver became known as the champion of the little guy.

He was elected eight times as a provincial member of the legislature.

He was also elected as a federal New Democrat MP in 1988 in the former Victoria-area riding of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.

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 and his three-year government from 1972 to 1975 was short-lived but enduring for its political

More to come

—With files from the Canadian Press

Keith VassKeith Vass

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