BC Conservatives gather and campaign for executive positions

Rival executive slates seek support among members as party's AGM begins.

About 150 BC Conservatives were on hand as the party’s annual general meeting began Friday night with at a meet and greet with leader John Cummins. The AGM is being held at Langley Events Centre in Langley.

The event began just hours after high-profile BC Conservative John Martin, who contested the Chilliwack-Hope byelection for the party in April, announced he was leaving the party to join the BC Liberals. The NDP’s Gwen O’Mahony won that race with 41 per cent of the vote, the first time the NDP has ever won a Chilliwack seat. Martin came third behind Liberal Laurie Throness.

The Conservatives’ only MLA, John Van Dongen, was among those on hand at the Friday event.

Representatives of the two rival slates seeking control of the party executive were circulating at the event, with each handing buttons out to delegates. Al Siebring is heading the A Team slate which supports Cummins’ leadership, while Ben Besler heads Friends of the BC Conservatives, which wants a leadership review. Linda Bellamy and Dan Denis of Langley are on the A Team slate.

Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation was guest speaker at the Friday event, Bateman called for an end to the carbon tax, which he said has done nothing to reduce emissions but has severely penalized individuals and businesses. He said the CTF wants the entire tax and all associated credits scrapped.

Bateman said B.C. needs leaders with vision, in the mould of past premiers Richard McBride, Duff Pattullo, John Hart, W.A.C. Bennett, Bill Bennett and “even Gordon Campbell in his first term.”

He said the provincial government must balance the budget and start paying down debt, because it is a burden on future generations of taxpayers. He said B.C. needs to follow the example Ralph Klein set in Alberta when he was premier, and bring in debt repayment legislation.

Bateman also repeated the CTF’s call for reduced gas taxes in the Lower Mainland, where drivers pay the highest gas taxes in North America. He said a tax revolt is actually underway, with many Lower Mainland drivers either going to the Fraser Valley or the U.S. for gas. Gas sales in Abbotsford have risen by 33 per cent in past five years, while the population has risen five and one-half per cent.

Siebring told Bateman that the BC Conservatives have made a policy commitment to end the carbon tax and all credits associated with it.

The AGM on Saturday begins with a morning closed-door session. Results of a ballot on whether there should be a leadership review will be released about noon, just before Cummins is scheduled to speak. Results of elections for executive positions will be announced later in the afternoon.

Just Posted

Damp weather prompts extreme weather alert by Langley shelter

Homeless advised to come in from the rain

Langley Christian Lightning makes finals at Tsumura basketball invitational

Bronze medal match Saturday night at Langley Events Centre

Walnut Grove Gators move up at basketball tourney

The Gators won their first game Thursday

VIDEO: These are the top toys this Christmas, Langley toy experts say

Consider the play value of a game, staff at Toy Traders say

Giants defenceman in Czech Republic for Christmas

Eigtheen-year-old Bowen Byram is be part of the Canada team selected for the world juniors

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read