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Records of complaints

Records in this series reflect the activities of the Provincial Secretary, Party president, and other members in response to formal complaints submitted to the Party.

While informal complaints submitted by Party members are regularly received and replied to by the Provincial Secretary or by another relevant Party member, the NDP additionally has a formal complaints process in place, as outlined in the Party Constitution. Article 16.02 of the "Constitution of the New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (as amended, June 1999) states that a complaint "may be lodged with the Provincial President by any member or constituted body of the Party alleging a violation of the constitution or a statement or action resulting in severe and evident injustice to a member or constituted body of the Party." Complaints were to be submitted in writing with any pertinent evidence included, details of the events that gave rise to the complaint, and the remedy sought (article 16.04). Should the President be unable to resolve the matter equitably, a special panel could be appointed to mediate the dispute, and/or it could be referred to the Provincial Executive for consideration within 30 days (16.05). It was also "a breach of the principles and policies of the New Democratic Party for any member to seek redress for any complaint against another member or body of the Party through public notice or solicitation," (16.08), an act that items in this series suggest happened occasionally, leading to further complaints and mediation.

Complaints contained in this series are varied in the nature of the issue and in the amount of documentation accorded to each, but several cases revolve around allegations of irregular member sign-up practices during nomination periods, or other nomination irregularities. Items in this series include correspondence (predominant), notes, membership cards, memos and public communications, some clippings, and other related materials.

Provincial Secretary correspondence

Records in this series reflect the functions and activities of the Provincial Secretary, in maintaining communication with Party members and members of the public, coordinating election campaigns and strategies, and administering the provincial office. A central coordinating figure in the Party, the Provincial Secretary acts as a communications hub and spokesperson, ensuring coordination between different groups, committees, and members of the party. A 1989 description of the role of the Provincial Secretary, found in file 449-14, described the position's responsibilities as such:

  • Administers the policies, plans and strategies of the provincial party as adopted by the Executive, Council, and Convention
  • Administers the provincial office of the party
  • Liaises with all sections and components of the party
  • Provincial campaign manager
    To fulfill these duties, the Provincial Secretary is often a member of numerous committees, and usually sits as a member of all executive levels of the party (Table Officers, Provincial Executive, and Provincial Council).

Records included in this series span several Provincial Secretaries, including:

  • 1985 - 1987: Gerry Scott
  • 1987 - 1992: Hans Brown
  • 1992 - 1993: Ray Whitehead
  • 1993 - 1994: Keith Reynolds
  • 1994 - 1999: Brian Gardiner
  • 1999 - 2000: Ron Stipp (Acting Provincial Secretary)
  • 2000 - 2002: Ed Lavalle

The files contain correspondence predominantly sent and received by Gerry Scott, Hans Brown, Brian Gardiner, and Ed Lavalle. Items in this series are predominantly correspondence, though often with related materials attached, including public memos, news clippings, policy and strategy documents, poll results, and other related materials.

Records of the Director of Administration

Records in this series represent the functions and activities of the Director of Administration for the British Columbia New Democratic Party.

File 449-14, in the "Women's Rights Committee (WRC) records" series of this fonds, includes a document entitled "Provincial Office Staffing," that defines the Director of Administration's duties as pertaining to "Election finances, tax receipts and paper flow, Party finances, cash flow, accounting, budgeting, back-up to Provincial Secretary," as well as implying supervision of specific staff and projects. The Director of Administration would often join the Provincial Secretary as a member of the B.C. Council of Federal Ridings, and would manage records related to the Federal NDP, local constituency associations, clubs, and holding societies. The Director would also manage much of the correspondence sent to the Provincial Office.

The majority of records in this series have been created by two Directors; Lin Rubin, and Sherry Hyde, who took over the Director position ca. 1991. Records in this series include correspondence, memos, budget and finance documents, meeting agenda and minutes, notes, speech transcripts, clippings, and other related materials.

Dave Barrett material

Contains correspondence related to a direct mail fundraising campaign letter sent out in November of 1990 to NDP members, purportedly from Dave Barrett, M.P., concerning a request for donations to the New Beginnings Appeal. The letter evidently angered many NDP members, prompting strongly worded responses, to which the Director of Administration and the Provincial Secretary had to craft an appropriate response.

Correspondence Patrice Pratt outgoing

Contains copies of both outgoing and incoming correspondence from Patrice Pratt, BC NDP President. Includes an exchange between Pratt and Dave Stupich, following the public controversy surrounding the Nanaimo Commonwealth Holding Society, and other related material.

Progressive Democratic Alliance

Contains materials related to the Progressive Democratic Alliance, its leader Gordon Wilson who crossed the floor to join the BC NDP, and allegations of financial irregularities between the two parties that led to an investigation. File includes correspondence, clippings, financial documents, PDA platform materials, Elections BC documents, and other related materials.

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