Allison Patton

Unite or get out, Cummins orders dissident Conservatives

Letter calls on him to quit, says 20 constituency presidents want new leader

BC Conservative leader John Cummins has issued an ultimatum to dissident party members who continue to agitate for a replacement: unite behind him or get out.

The showdown comes as more Conservative insiders are public opposing Cummins continuing as leader.

“Those few but vocal party members who are critical of my leadership and do not support me have until 12:00 noon, Wednesday, to either get on-side or quit our party and join another,” Cummins said in a news release.

Those who leave by the deadline will be refunded membership fees and any donations made within the last year, he said.

Cummins said his dedication to the BC Conservatives is “unwavering” and that he fully intends to lead the party into next May’s provincial election.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he said.

Cummins cited last month’s 70 per cent vote of party members against a leadership review as evidence of a “solid majority” behind him, but the split in the party continues to fester.

A leaked letter sent to Cummins Tuesday from Allison Patton and Ariane Eckardt – the party’s constituency association presidents in Surrey-White Rock and Burnaby North, respectively – pleads for him to quit and give the Tories a new chance to win back voters.

In it, Patton and Eckardt say there are there are now 20 local presidents asking Cummins to resign.

“We want you to know we are not leaving,” they wrote. “But we ask, for the sake of the party, that you do.”

They’re also holding Cummins responsible for the “exorcising and excommunicating” of dissident Tories who they said have apparently been deemed “enemies” by party officials.

John Martin, the former Conservative candidate in Chilliwack-Hope, defected to the Liberals last month and the party’s lone MLA – former BC Liberal John van Dongen – quit the Tories after the AGM vote.

“This division has cost us our only sitting MLA and the possibility of having others who were ready to cross,” the Patton-Eckhardt letter says. “These missed opportunities cannot be undone.”

Party president Al Siebring said the leadership issue was settled last month and the party will run under Cummins in the 2013 election.

“I simply will not allow our party to be distracted by a handful of dissidents who will not abide by the majority’s decision, and personally will take all appropriate measures after noon Wednesday to ensure that we are united behind our leader.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Langley man charged with sex assault in alleged fake-Uber scheme

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Bowen Byram played three seasons with the Vancouver Giants and will take part in the National Junior Team Selection Camp. (Rob Wilton)
Langley-based Giants player picked for national junior camp

Bowen Byram made quite a name for himself in three seasons with the Vancouver Giants

R.E. Mountain Secondary (Langley School District)
COVID-19 exposure issued for R.E. Mountain Secondary in Langley

Four schools have been removed from the list of exposures

Aldor Acres is open to the public for pumpkin picking and animal visiting. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)
Our View: Caution requires creativity this Halloween in Langley

And remember, no big parties, or you’ll get a trick in the form of a fine!

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Education is key to creating an equal world

Aldergrove reader ‘resentful’ of response by Christian Heritage Party candidate

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Most Read