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Former B.C. premier Dave Barrett dead at 87

Dave Barrett died after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

On Friday, BC's first New Democratic Party government Premier, Dave Barrett, died in Victoria at the age of 87.

Barrett's son Dan said in a statement that his father died after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

He said his father cared deeply about the province and that he devoted much of his life trying to make it a better and fairer place to live. His love of the province was surpassed only by his devotion to his family.

Barrett governed BC as Premier from September 1972 to December 1975. However,  just three years in government, Barrett called a snap election and the Social Credit party swept back into power.

“(Friday), B.C. has lost a giant, former premier Dave Barrett," said current NDP Premier John Horgan in a media release.

“His visionary leadership and unflinching commitment to the well-being of ordinary people around the province led to lasting change that shaped our province for the better.

“In just one short term, his government delivered our first modern ambulance service, the Agricultural Land Reserve and public auto insurance. We are all better off, thanks to his tireless work and immeasurable contributions to public life.

“His sense of humour and ability to command a room with his oratory was legendary. First and foremost, I will always remember his commitment to working for regular people. 

“He was an inspiration to me and many other British Columbians, and I am grateful for his friendship and guidance over the years. His legacy will live on in our hearts.

“Ellie and I extend our sincere condolences to the entire Barrett family at this difficult time.”