The man to carry Tommy Douglas’s legacy forward

Thank you, Kennedy Stewart, for seriously considering participating in the race for the leadership of the British Columbia NDP.

When I first met the Burnaby-Douglas MP at an all-candidates’ meeting in Burnaby for the federal election in 2011, I detected fine leadership qualities that I have been pleased to see regularly exhibited by his performance as an MP. From the beginning it was easy to see him as a major leadership contender for either of the federal or provincial NDP parties.

I recognize these as qualities shared by Tommy Douglas, who made a deep impact in Canadian politics. He enjoyed an illustrious career as premier of Saskatchewan and later, leader of the federal NDP and most recently, voted posthumously as The Greatest Canadian in a CBC contest.

As a 10-year-old immigrant child from Poland in Candiac, Sask., I met, heard and was inspired by Tommy Douglas as he ran for election as a CCF/NDP MLA.

Today I am 88, and I’m proud to say I’ve never cast a wasted vote, supporting his perseverance through the introduction of Medicare, as just one of his many valuable accomplishments. Tommy’s love and impassioned vision of the future for Canadians needs to be continued.

I am appealing for Stewart to “Take Up Tommy’s Torch” to return greatness and harmony to the BC NDP. I feel confident his is the one to take the Tommy Douglas Legacy to the next level.

Chester (Czeslaw) Pielak


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