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BC NDP breaking gender requirement since Dix election

With the election of Adrian Dix as leader, the British Columbia New Democratic Party is at odds with its own constitution's requirements for gender balance.

"I guess it's only been an issue for about two days now," said party spokesperson Michael Roy.

The BC NDP constitution says, "There shall be representation of both genders in the three positions of Leader, President, and Treasurer."

The party president is Moe Sihota and the treasurer is Bob Smits. Both, like Dix, are male.

Dix replaced interim leader Dawn Black who held the position after Carole James resigned in December after seven years in the job.

The constitution is unclear what happens in such a situation, though it allows for appointing a replacement treasurer or president if one of the positions becomes vacant. Another alternative would be to amend the constitution at the party's next convention.

The party executive will discuss the issue at their next meeting, Roy said.

When nominations for NDP leader closed in January, none of the six candidates were female.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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