A First in Canadian History Jewish Candidate Defeats Opponent to Become Provincial Premier
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A First in Canadian History Jewish Candidate Defeats Opponent to Become Provincial Premier

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David Barrett, a 42-year-old former social worker, won a stunning victory here yesterday to become the new Premier of British Columbia. He is the first Jew in Canadian history to become a provincial premier.

Running on the New Democratic Party ticket, Barrett copped the election by a majority of 10,000 votes over his opponent in the Social Credit Party. The latter party had been in power for the last 20 years. Former executive director of Vancouver’s Jewish Community Cen- ter and a contributor to Jewish causes, Barrett is fondly referred to as a barrel-chested, beer-drinking social reformist who speaks his mind. He entered politic in 1960 after he was fired from his Job at the Haney Correctional Institute here for criticizing Social Creditor correction policy. In September of that year Barrett won a seat in the B.C. Legislative Assembly and was subsequently re-elected in 1963,1966 and 1969, when he became the Leader of the Opposition.

Barrett, who received his bachelors degree from Seattle University and Masters of Social Work from St. Louis University, promised to “move British Columbia into a people’s century.” His victory was accompanied by a major shift of the majority of seats in the Assembly from the Social Credit Party to the New Democratic Party, which now has 39 percent of the seats in the legislative house.

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