Dawn Black, age 68, a veteran politician with a 30-year career behind her, is saying goodbye to government and political life after a in order to spend more time with her family. Ms. Black’s accomplishments are many and varied. She has been both an MP and a member of the B. C. Legislature. The timing of her departure means that she’ll miss the opportunity to become a cabinet minister in an NDP provincial government.
Her political career began in the 1970’s, when she went door-to-door in an effort to get NDP premier David Barrett re-elected. Acknowledging the point that she’ll miss out on the cabinet-level posting that has eluded her over the course of her career, she said that it was simply time to move on. “I know it sounds trite, but it’s true. I have seven fabulous grandchildren and three great sons with wonderful wives and I don’t want to miss any more family gatherings.”
“I would have loved to be a cabinet minister, federally or provincially. Sure, there’s a tinge of sadness I won’t ever achieve that, but I feel it’s the right decision.” She added.
Being a provincial MLA was a new feather in Ms. Black’s cap, who served three terms as an MP before being elected to the B. C. Legislature in 2009. She departed from her role as MP for the New Westminister-Coquitlam, in part to be closer to her family, but also because the designated NDP candidate took ill just before a provincial election.
Despite having had a relatively short run in provincial politics, Ms. Black certainly made her mark, both as an outspoken defence critic, and as adept statesman, being the leader her rebellious caucus turned to after the forced resignation of provincial NDP leader Carole James, last year. It was largely her skill that kept the caucus together until the party could replace Ms. James.
Ms. Black said she never had leadership aspirations, but that she “knew we had to survive as a caucus and a party.” Her leadership will be sorely missed.
The B. C. New Democrats have been largely exiled from power, being reduced to a mere two seats in 2001, but most political observers agree that they’ll be competitive whenever the vote comes, this fall or next spring.