Dennis Adamson, centre, pictured during a 2018 Canada Day celebration. Adamson has announced his intentions to run as an Independent in the Fraser-Nicola riding ahead of the B.C. election Oct. 24. (Photo credit: Greg Laychak/Black Press)

Dennis Adamson, centre, pictured during a 2018 Canada Day celebration. Adamson has announced his intentions to run as an Independent in the Fraser-Nicola riding ahead of the B.C. election Oct. 24. (Photo credit: Greg Laychak/Black Press)

Former Fraser-Nicola NDP riding executive member to run as Independent

Dennis Adamson flirted with Green Party before deciding to eschew party affiliation

After some initial confusion, the BC Green Party has officially named Jonah Timms as its candidate in Fraser-Nicola. The riding might also gain an Independent candidate, with Dennis Adamson confirming that he will be running without any party affiliation.

Late last week the BC Green Party riding association in Fraser-Nicola said that it had not yet confirmed a candidate, and that the announcement that Timms had been acclaimed as the candidate had been made in error.

“Unfortunately on Sept. 21 an article was published in the Hope Standard [and in the Journal] that indicated that a candidate had been acclaimed,” stated the release. “His information, picture, and short bio were supplied by a member of the Fraser-Nicola riding association, who in good faith — and understanding that only one potential candidate had applied — believed that Jonah Timms would be acclaimed.

“At the time another potential candidate, Dennis Adamson, had not submitted his interest to the BC Greens. In numerous communications with that candidate, the Fraser-Nicola riding association emphasized the need to complete the application and to follow the process described by the BC Greens. It is our understanding that Mr. Adamson has now completed his application and has been informed by the BC Greens of their process, including the notification of the result of his application.”

On Sept. 29, Timms was confirmed named as the Green Party candidate in the riding. On the same day, Adamson declared that he had withdrawn his application to run for the Green Party and planned to run as an Independent, and was working to gather the signatures he needed to file as a candidate before the Oct. 2 deadline.

Adamson was vice-president of the BC NDP Fraser-Nicola riding association until the weekend of Sept. 11, when he and the other 12 members of the executive resigned in protest over the naming of Aaron Sumexheltza by the provincial NDP as the party’s candidate in the riding. While initial reports indicated that members of the executive planned to work to undermine Sumexheltza, Adamson walked that back in an interview with the Journal.

Read more: Controversy in Fraser-Nicola riding as NDP names their candidate

“We’ll vote our conscience,” he said. “I quit the NDP, period, and will be seeking another party to join.”

Thinking he could raise the profile of the BC Greens and help them win the riding, Adamson — currently an area director for the Fraser Valley Regional District — then put his name in to become a candidate for that party. “Because of my 12 years as electoral director, and I had a lot of NDP people that would support me if I did that,” he said.

“I believe, right now, that the party system is broken. I left the NDP because I thought the party were being bullies and I went to the Greens, and I decided to go Independent so I wouldn’t have to be told what to say by anybody. I could just work for the people.”

Adamson is discouraged by the way political parties function. “All parties are the same, with control over what you say. And I have to say whatever I see wrong, it’s just part of me. I just didn’t want to work with a party anymore.”

Securing an election victory as an Independent has traditionally been exceedingly difficult in a first-past-the-post electoral system. Despite this, Adamson said he believes an independent would work harder for their constituents and could represent “true democracy”.

“I’ve been listening to a lot of people in the area, I see people that have problems with the system and experience with these two parties,” he said. “People care more about protecting the parties than they do about helping people.”

Liberal Jackie Tegart — who has held the riding since 2013 — and Sumexheltza for the NDP have already been declared as candidates in Fraser-Nicola. The BC Ecosocialist Party has indicated it intends to field a candidate in the riding, but as of going to press had not declared one.

The Conservative Party of BC, in an email to the Journal, stated that it would be announcing candidates throughout the province, but did not say if they would be fielding a candidate in Fraser-Nicola.

With files from Emelie Peacock.

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