Newly-elected First Nations woman continues B.C. New Democrats track record of firsts

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VICTORIA— Swearing in new members to the legislature and making history in the process is always exciting, but it is typical of the B.C. New Democrats.

“Once again the B.C New Democrats are making history,” said New Democrat Leader John Horgan.

Melanie Mark was sworn in as the first-ever First Nations woman to become a B.C. MLA. Jodie Wickens was sworn in as MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, and became the youngest member of the legislature. Both women won seats in the two recent by-elections.

“With victories in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain and Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, there isn’t a mountain we can’t climb,” Horgan said.

Horgan pointed out 10 firsts for New Democrat Members of the B.C. Legislative Assembly:

  • Frank Calder was elected in 1949, the first elected person of aboriginal descent
  • Rosemary Brown was first Black woman
  • Emery Barnes was first Black man
  • Moe Sihota was first Indo-Canadian
  • Jenny Kwan was first Chinese person
  • Tim Stevenson was first openly gay man
  • Carole James was first Aboriginal-Metis woman
  • Mable Elmore was the first Filipino
  • Jane Shin was first Korean woman
  • Melanie Mark is the first First Nations woman.

“These two new MLAs are the face of the modern British Columbia and the B.C. New Democrats,” said Horgan. “We are in a state of renewal and growth, helping us to fight hard for a united British Columbia where everyone shares in prosperity.”