Former British Columbia premier Dave Barrett has died at the age of 87 in Victoria.
The former NDP premier died after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease stated in a press release by Premier Horgan’s office.
Barrett was first elected to the B.C. legislature in 1960.
Barrett made political history when his left leaning New Democrats defeated the five-term Social Credit dominant governments of W.A.C. Bennett in 1972.
The labour movement is marking the life of BC’s first NDP Premier Dave Barrett, a friend of working people, and a politician who had a profound impact on our province, says BC Federation of Labour President Irene Lanzinger.
BC’s 26th premier, Barrett lead a reform-minded government that implemented a long list of measures between 1972 and 1975. Among these were a new labour code and a Labour Relations Board that fundamentally altered relationships between unions and employers that had all too often ended up in the courts.
Other lasting accomplishments include the Agricultural Land Reserve, ICBC, and the BC Ambulance Service. Legislation passed by the NDP at the time also made it possible for government employees to join a union.
“He was a bold premier for a bold era. Barrett’s government marked a political coming of age for our province,” says Lanzinger. “His term as leader of BC certainly wasn’t a long time, but it surely was a good time to make BC a better place for working people.”