NDP turns down local lawyer's bid to run in Prince George-Valemount

Prince George lawyer Jon Duncan says he has been denied his attempt to run for the B.C. New Democratic Party in Prince George-Valemount.

In a posting on Facebook, Duncan said the party turned down his application over comments opposing the switch to no fault insurance, now in place. He argued for a compromise that would to allow people to choose between no fault and pursuing damages through the court.

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"I was informed by the campaign headquarters that my suggestion could lead to potential embarrassment to the party if I was permitted to run for the NDP."

Duncan said it has taken a few days for him to accept the decision and that it seems unduly hurtful given that he expressed his opinion as a private citizen not as a member of the NDP government.

"In any event, I have no choice but to accept the decision. There is no appeal process in these matters," Duncan said.

In an interview Wednesday, Duncan said he actually lives in Prince George-Mackenzie and only stepped up to run in Prince George-Valemount as a favour. And while he remains hurt and upset by the decision, Duncan said he remains a supporter of the NDP and plans to campaign for Joan Atkinson, who is running for the party in Prince George-Mackenzie.

Duncan said he thought the posting was the best way to relay the outcome to those who supported his nomination, noting that 100 people signed his nomination papers.

"If I'd just said I wasn't green lighted, people would be wondering why," he said. "I'm a lawyer in the community, I've had the community's interests at heart since I moved here, why wouldn't they green light me? And that's the reason they gave."

The posting drew plenty of comments on the page, including one from former Prince George-area NDP MLA Lois Boone, who said she was upset by the decision saying Duncan is "one of the most honourable men I've ever met. I'm truly sorry that you're not the candidate."

The NDP has not yet announced a candidate for Prince George-Valemount. The Elections B.C. deadline for nominations is Thursday, Duncan noted. The NDP has not yet announced a candidate for Prince George-Valemount.

The Elections B.C. deadline for nominations is Thursday, Duncan noted, and added he hopes the NDP doesn't "parachute someone in" to run in the riding.

"I'm not an opponent of the NDP, I never will be," he said. "I just hope we have someone local, here, to run."

In a response to a request for comment, an NDP official confirmed that Duncan was not accepted but declined to provide the reason.

"The details of candidate confirmations are confidential between the candidate and the party and we will not release the details of why Mr. Duncan was not accepted," the official said and added that Laura Parent will be the party’s candidate in Prince George-Valemount.

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