Today in the BC Legislature the Premier, Leader of the Official Opposition and I paid tribute to former NDP Premier Dave Barrett who passed away on February 2, 2018.
Below I attach the video and text of my tribute.
A. Weaver: I rise to pay tribute on behalf of the B.C. Green caucus to a great British Columbian, Dave Barrett, who passed away on February 2 of this year. I also wish to extend my sincere condolences to his family gathered in the gallery today.
Dave Barrett dedicated much of his life to the service of British Columbians. He did so with passion. He did so with commitment. He did so with integrity, and he did so both here in the B.C. Legislature as well as in the Houses of Parliament in Ottawa.
Dave Barrett, without a doubt, was one of Canada’s great Premiers. During his time as Premier from 1972 to 1975, his government passed a remarkable 367 bills, averaging one every three days. Much of his legacy has stood the test of time. His government created ICBC, launched PharmaCare and passed the human rights code, to name but a few of his impressive and lasting achievements.
In 1973, British Columbia was faced with sprawling urban development that threatened to swallow up precious agricultural land, including some of the best farmland in Canada. It was a challenge with opponents down every avenue, and one that a timid political leader would likely have avoided. Premier Dave Barrett and his government rose to the challenge through principled and focused leadership.
They preserved Cypress Bowl — what he described as his greatest legacy — and they protected vast swaths of land from developing by creating the agricultural land reserve, ensuring that future generations would have access to quality farmland and locally grown food. It was an act that angered many in the development community, but it was a bold and important act that was grounded in the principle of intergenerational equity.
A great orator. A gregarious individual with a wicked sense of humour. A man of integrity and principles, and a man of the people. These are but a few of the traits for which he will be remembered.
As a junior high school student in the mid-1970s, Dave Barrett’s political leadership inspired me. His lasting legacy continues to do just that each and every day in the Legislature.
As we say goodbye to Premier Barrett, we should collectively reflect upon his great accomplishments, for it is with leadership like his that we can continue a build a province that is forward-looking, innovative and compassionate.
Thank you, Dave Barrett, for all that you did. You will be missed but never forgotten.
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