Lana Popham

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Lana Popham
Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly
for Saanich South
Assumed office
May 12, 2009
Preceded by David Cubberley
Personal details
Born (1968-10-30) October 30, 1968 (age 48)
Regina, Saskatchewan
Political party New Democrat
Spouse(s) Jon Popham
Children Kyle Popham
Residence Saanich, British Columbia
Occupation farmer, small business owner

Lana Popham is Canadian politician representing the riding of Saanich South in the 39th Parliament of British Columbia. She was elected as the British Columbia New Democratic Party candidate in the British Columbia general election, 2009 and has served on the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts and as the Official Opposition Critic for the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. Popham owns and operates the organic grape orchard, Barking Dog Vineyard, on Vancouver Island. Her background in community work has included participating in campaigns to reduce excessive automobile driving and to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags within the Capital Regional District.


Though born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Lana Popham was raised on Quadra Island, one of the Discovery Islands off the central-east coast of Vancouver Island. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a bachelor of arts in geography and a major in urban planning. She married an Oak Bay firefighter and together they had a son.[1] In 1997, they developed Barking Dog Vineyard, which, in 2000, became the first certified organic vineyard on Vancouver Island.[2]

She has participated in numerous organizations, including the Island Organic Producers Association, the Peninsula Agricultural Commission.[1] In 2005, she served as president of the Wine Islands Growers Association. She has been a member of several District of Saanich committees, including planning, transportation, and economic development committees.[1] In 2007 she engaged in the "100 km Less" campaign challenging people to eliminate 100 kilometres from their weekly driving.[3] In 2008 she campaigned to reduce or ban plastic shopping bags in the Capital Regional District, in favour of reusable bags.[4][5]


Popham was a candidate in the 2005 Saanich municipal elections, but did not win a seat on council.[6] She began campaigning for the 2008 municipal elections but withdrew to run for the provincial NDP nomination in the Saanich South riding.[7] The MLA, New Democrat David Cubberley, had announced he would not run in the next election and party rules required that his successor be female.[7] Being unopposed, Popham was acclaimed the NDP candidate in Saanich South for the 2009 provincial general election. The Saanich South election was expected to be one of the closest in the province[6] with Popham facing former CHEK-TV reporter and news anchor and BC Liberal candidate Robin Adair,[8] lawyer and Western Canada Concept Party leader Doug Christie, and Green Party candidate Brian Gordon. Popham was one of four candidates in the province endorsed by the Conservation Voters of BC.[6] Popham won the May 12 election by 482 votes and her party formed the official opposition.

In the 39th Parliament she served as a member on the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts and was the NDP agriculture and lands critic.[9] To understand provincial agricultural issues better, in the summer 2009, Popham and Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson toured the BC Interior where they met with agricultural organizations and local producers.[10][11] She joined with fellow NDP MLAs Scott Fraser and Claire Trevena, in conjunction with the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, in lobbying for the stop to old-growth logging on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.[12]

In August 2011, while Popham was out of town, her constituency office experienced a roof fire.[13] In November 2010, Popham became one of 13 NDP caucus members to call for a leadership review of Carole James.[14] Under James' successor, Adrian Dix, Popham remained agriculture critic and they advocated for health authorities to use local food in hospitals,[15] reinstating the Buy B.C. program,[16] easing the regulations that restrict meat processing sales,[17] and lobbied the Province of Ontario for compatible labeling laws in support of a proposed federal law that would allow inter-provincial sales of wine.[18]

Popham was featured in the 2011 Canadian documentary film Peace Out where she spoke about the food supply ramifications of flooding the Peace River Valley for the controversial Site C dam proposal.[19]

Popham’s public position on agricultural issues include reinstating the Buy B.C. program, making it more difficult to remove land from the Agricultural Land reserve and reinstating agricultural extension officers.[20] Popham opposes the commercial production of the genetically engineered Arctic Apple, arguing it could negatively affect the reputation of BC fruit.[21] She is a leading proponent of increased protection for native pollinators and honey bees on Vancouver Island, maintaining a blog on the subject.

Popham delivered an overview of the BCNDP’s agriculture plan on March 4 and 5, 2013 to the BC Legislature.

She ran for re-election in the provincial election May 14, 2013 and was re-elected.[22]

Electoral history[edit]

B.C. General Election 2013: Saanich South
Party Candidate Votes % ± Expenditures
New Democratic Lana Popham 11,946 46%
Liberal Rishi Sharma 9,256 35%
Green Branko Mustafovic 4,011 15%
Conservative Joshua Galbraith 873 3%
Independent Peter Kappel 142 1%
Total Valid Votes 26,228 100%
Total Rejected Ballots 88 0.3%
Turnout 26,316 68%
B.C. General Election 2009: Saanich South
Party Candidate Votes % ± Expenditures
New Democratic Lana Popham 11,697 47% n/a $93,914
Liberal Robin Adair 11,215 45% n/a $121,866
Green Brian Gordon 1,664 7% n/a $655
Western Canada Concept Douglas Christie 235 1% n/a $250
Total Valid Votes 24,811
Total Rejected Ballots 164 0.7%
Turnout 24,975 64%


  1. ^ a b c "Vineyard owner adds name to slate for Saanich council election". Times-Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia. June 9, 2008. p. A.5. 
  2. ^ "New winery puts down its roots". Peninsula News Review. Sidney, British Columbia. May 25, 2005. p. 12. 
  3. ^ "Fuel efficiency on the cheap". Saanich News. Saanich, British Columbia. April 4, 2007. p. 7. 
  4. ^ "Plastic bag ban proposed". Saanich News. October 26, 2007. Archived from the original on November 2, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2010. 
  5. ^ Knox, Jack (February 26, 2008). "We're neck-deep in plastic. Is it time to bag the bag?". Times-Colonist. Retrieved December 8, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Kines, Lindsay (May 2, 2009). "The ultimate swing riding". Times-Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia. p. B.1. 
  7. ^ a b "Vintner drops council bid, seeks NDP nomination". Times-Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia. September 17, 2008. p. A.4. 
  8. ^ "Former CHEK anchor to run for B.C. Liberals". Times-Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia. January 22, 2009. p. A.3. 
  9. ^ Shaw, Rob (June 12, 2009). "Few changes in NDP's critic shuffle". Times-Colonist. Victoria, British Columbia. p. A.3. 
  10. ^ Young, Michele (August 6, 2009). "NDP ag critic chews over issues". Kamloops Daily News. Kamloops, British Columbia. p. A.4. 
  11. ^ Kelsey, Laura (August 11, 2009). "Educating eaters start of sustainability". 100 Mile House Free Press. 100 Mile House, British Columbia. p. A.3. 
  12. ^ "MLA supports protection of old-growth forests". North Island Gazette. Alert Bay, B.C. May 4, 2010. p. 14. 
  13. ^ Johnston, Larissa; Kathryn Burnam (August 7, 2011). "Fire at Saanich South MLA's office". Times-Colonist. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  14. ^ Fowlie, Jonathan (November 20, 2010). "B.C. NDP boss vows to fight bickering". National Post. p. A.12. 
  15. ^ Fortems, Cam (October 13, 2011). "NDP wants local food in hospitals; Dix says it will stimulate B.C. markets and economy". Kamloops Daily News. p. 4. 
  16. ^ Patton, Kristi (October 13, 2011). "Farmers face growing losses". Penticton Western News. p. 13. 
  17. ^ Rolke, Richard (October 16, 2011). "Critic makes case for farm support". The Morning Star. Vernon, British Columbia. 
  18. ^ Patton, Kristi (October 11, 2011). "Dix joins push for wine law changes". Penticton Western News. p. 4. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Luk, Vivian (January 26, 2013). "Innovation key to province's ambitious agricultural goals". Canadian Press. 
  21. ^ Popham, Lana (February 5, 2013). "Critic Speaks Against GM Apple". Daily Courier (Kelowna). 
  22. ^

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