Political party

New progressive civic political parties are forming in the New West

Together New West is progressive – but not to be confused with New West Progressives

A new municipal party is aiming to elect “progressive candidates” to council and the school board in next year’s municipal elections.

Together New West, which held its first annual general meeting over Zoom on December 5, is a new municipal party that was created to support and help elect progressive candidates for mayor, city council and school board.

“It’s been in the works for a few months,” said Gurveen Dhaliwal, who is currently New Westminster School Board president. “I think we realized that the local government election is less than a year away, so we recognized that working together as a team we needed to form this political party.”

Together New West is committed to developing a comprehensive platform ahead of the October 15, 2022 municipal elections.

Dhaliwal said the party’s small team of organizers includes elected officials, including herself and Mayor Jonathan Côté, as well as community members.

“Together New West provides a platform to present a strong slate of candidates in 2022 to strengthen our commitment and work on our shared values ​​and vision for New Westminster,” Cote said in a press release. “New Westminster is an incredible community and Together New West will allow us to continue the work we have done to build a progressive city.”

Together New West says its priorities include creating affordable housing, reconciliation and decolonization, addressing the climate emergency, and supporting a strong public education system.

In the 2018 municipal elections, Dhaliwal and Cote were part of a group of candidates running under the Team Cote banner that swept all city council positions and won the majority of school board positions. At the time, they described themselves as “like-minded, but independent” candidates who had common goals they wanted to advance on city council and the school board.

“In the last election, we ran individual campaigns and filed individual returns with Elections BC,” Dhaliwal said. “A political party, like Together New West, requires a constitution, bylaws, a board of directors and registration with Elections BC. It’s about having a framework for a team that has a common vision and values ​​for New Westminster.

In the last election, the New West Progressives, a group of local voters, also fielded council and school board candidates. The New West Progressives criticized the members of Team Cote for “presenting themselves under the guise of being independent”, even though they had all been approved by the New Westminster and District Labor Council.

“We are not officially affiliated with the NDP,” Dhaliwal told the Disk. “As far as the labor council is concerned, the labor council has been a player in the development of this party. But they will work, as they do in every election, on their own independent approval process.

According to Dhaliwal, Together New West has not made a decision on how many candidates it will field in next year’s municipal elections or whether it will field a full slate of candidates, as that will be determined by party committees. and by the executive. .

“Any current incumbent, if they decide to run in 2022, will have to seek nomination with Together New West,” Dhaliwal said. “As a newly formed political party, there is no incumbent associated with it.”

Together New West has previously come under fire from the Downtown New Westminster Business Improvement Association, which launched a branding campaign with the same name.

This is not the first time that the name of a political party has made the town wince.

In the 2018 mayoral elections, the coalition of New West Progressives voters fielded several candidates for city council and the school board. The group, which has stated that it is not aligned with any provincial or federal party, has drawn criticism from progressive voters due to the use of the word progressives in the group’s name (because it is a a word widely used by candidates who are traditionally more left-leaning and endorsed by New Westminster and District Labour) and his choice of promotional material (which featured the color orange, a color long associated with the left-leaning NDP).

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus
Email tmcmanus@newwestrecord.ca