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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Provincial Politics: Bob Douglas And The NDP

Provincial Politics: Bob Douglas And The NDP

By on September 10, 2011
By David Murray. This being the 50th anniversary of the NDP in British Columbia, what better time would it be than to write a story about Mr. Robert ‘Bob’ Douglas. [Click On Image For Full Story]
Bob was born in Empress Alberta in 1927 and has been a member of the CCF-NDP since 1941. He grew up on the prairies and actually had a chance to hear Tommy Douglas speak at a very young age. This left a lasting impression on him, and saw him become a life-long political activist for marginalized, disenfranchised and working people throughout our country.
Growing up during the depression, Bob saw first-hand how things were not supposed to be done by a government. He saw ‘Iron Heel’ Bennett’s government get thrown out of power after the

Longtime NDP stalwart Bob Douglas at Bradner Flower Show
Regina Riot lead to bloodshed because of the meddling of the disingenuous Conservative government of that era. Bob came to British Columbia in 1956. He got a job with the BC Power Commission. It was not long after that, he got involved with local politics on the Island.
Just after 1962, Premier W.A.C. Bennett took over BC Electric and they amalgamated with the BC Power Commission to form BC Hydro. This brought Bob an opportunity to live and work in Vancouver. He lived on Davie Street and Nicola Street in the downtown area.
The BC NDP was just getting started in the province in 1962. They had just gone through the name change going from the CCF to the NDP.

Bob Douglas driving candidate David Murray in the Bradner Parade
Funds were hard to come by at that time for the party and, recognizing this, Bob rented a building, lived upstairs and gave the bottom half to the party so they could have an office. Good things happen when you have a big heart and as luck would have it Bob, met his future life partner Sarah, who worked for the party downstairs in the office as they enjoyed a long-time relationship which saw them both eventually move to Aldergrove where Mr.Douglas currently lives on his farm.
Bob ran for City Council in Vancouver in 1968 and 1972 and despite never having held a position on council, was a great advocate for social democracy in Vancouver during that era.
Holding the position of Treasurer for the Provincial NDP for many years in the 1960′s and 70′s. Bob was always the social conscience of the board.
He saw many candidates come and go via the NDP in his day and that is why I was so proud to have met him and have him support me as a candidate in Abbotsford in the last Federal election.
Bob was thrilled to have a private session with Jack Layton last February when he came to Vancouver. Jack had the Abbotsford group including Bob, meet in a private room with him and Olivia. This meant a lot to Bob as he and Jack clearly shared a common bond.
Mr. Robert “Bob” Douglas was certainly proud of the fight the Abbotsford NDP put up in the last Federal election.
Being part of our sign crew, and despite being 84 years old, Bob helped put up and maintain over 100 big signs in the riding. As well he was delighted to see over 1,000 orange small signs decorate the landscape in a previous Conservative stronghold. The Abbotsford NDP was the only riding in Western Canada that doubled their vote in 2011 from 2008!
Bob’s life has been a demonstration of what one person can do if they roll up their sleeves and get busy! He will continue to fight for social democracy even after his passing, He will be donating his entire farm valued between two and three million dollars to the BC NDP party.

David Murray's NDP Blog
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 My name is David Murray and I am currently on City Council in the City of Pitt Meadows British Columbia.
I ran Federally for the New Democratic Party in 2011 in Abbotsford and with the great team we had in place had the distinction of being the only riding in Western Canada that doubled our NDP vote!
I am the Editor of the Pitt Meadows Today Community Online Newspaper which together with its sister papers the Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Langley Today are receiving 250,000 hits a month!

My family goes back to the CCF-NDP party circa October 1935 as my father "Bud" Murray worked on Tommy Douglas's first campaign!

I am a union activist for CUPE and sit as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Fraser Valley District Council and am on the executive board of the Fraser Valley Labour Council (CLC)

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