B.C. Premier John Horgan held up two Highlands councillors as examples of people holding membership in both the B.C. Green Party and B.C. NDP, which the councillors deny.
In a media availability, Horgan was asked about the assertion that people were holding membership in both parties as part of a Green party takeover of the NDP.
“I can tell you that in my constituency the candidate for the Green Party’s family are now members of the NDP,” Horgan said.
“This is a recent occurrence. They never joined when I was seeking their assistance. In fact, instead of assisting me they mobilized and ran against me. So I have real tangible evidence, if you will, in my own community of individuals who were never supportive of me or the initiatives that I’ve been championing over 18 years.”
Though he didn’t mention him by name, Gord Baird, who is a councillor in Highlands, was the Green Party candidate in the 2020 provincial election in Horgan’s riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca.
Gord tells CHEK News that he has not joined the NDP for the leadership election.
“It would probably be a news story if I had dropped my Green Party membership and had supported Anjali, but that is not something I plan on doing,” Gord said. “My understanding is that he’s trying to do damage control for the NDP and he’s using my wife’s preference for political support, as I guess, some form of evidence that there’s a conspiracy in the Green Party.”
Ann Baird, who is also a Highlands councillor and Gord’s wife, says she did join the NDP, but not before her Green Party membership had expired, so she only holds membership in the NDP.
“I did not cancel my Green Party membership, it had expired,” Ann told CHEK News. “I wasn’t cancelling one to join another. And yes, I was interested in voting for the leadership of the NDP, and so I chose to join the NDP for that.”
Ann says she has switched back and forth over time between the Green Party and NDP as she aligns with candidates who will further climate goals.
“Historically I have gone back and forth between Green or NDP, I am not as an individual, I am not loyal to one party or the other, it’s more about issues for me,” Ann said. “So I have gone back and forth in my membership.”
Gord says that Horgan’s assertion that he has not been supportive of him in the past is false.
“We have actually been supporters of John, and yes, we actually have been NDP supporters in the past and NDP members in the past,” Gord said. “I can’t speak for Ann, but my family and myself, we’re both very nonpartisan and we always vote for the issues and what is going to achieve the best outcomes for climate action.”
Ann says she had previously been supportive of Horgan, and had joined the NDP during his leadership campaign to vote for him.
“I also joined the NDP, back when John Horgan was our MLA and before he was the premier, I joined the NDP back then to vote for John,” Ann said. “So twice now I joined the NDP so that I could vote for their leadership.”
Hey John – husband and wife aren't allowed to have differences in politics? You see conspiracy – I see freedom of choice. Rather than be scared of grass roots perhaps just learn your policy does not have to change too much to attract great people. @johnhorganbc #bcpoli
— Gord Baird (@Gord4Highlands) October 20, 2022