WEST VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – If you’re enjoying this BC Day — you have the province’s first NDP government to thank for introducing it.

That’s why New Democrats past and present are gathering today to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the party’s historic election win.

Despite that dire warning from Premier W.A.C Bennett that “the socialist hordes are at the gates in British Columbia,” BC elected its first NDP government back on August 30th 1972.

Dave Barrett and 37 other New Democrats swept into power, toppling 20 years of Social Credit rule.

The NDP introduced not only BC Day, but ICBC, the Agricultural Land Reserve, and brought Hansard to the Legislature as well.

NDP vets and current MLAs will gather at the Barrett’s Lookout in West Vancouver to mark the anniversary this afternoon.

New Democrat leader Adrian Dix admits while times have changed since the Barrett government was in power, its spirit lives on in today’s NDP.

“The things that drove Dave Barrett, the fight for equality, for justice for human rights I think continue to be strong values that the NDP has to pursue.”

Dix says that first New Democrat goverment was arguably the most influential in the province’s history.