PENTICTON – Instead of taking meaningful steps towards renewal at this weekend’s convention, B.C. Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon doubled down on old approaches and old ideas.
Falcon kicked off convention by picking former MLA John Yap as President of the party. Yap resigned from cabinet in 2013 over his role in the Quick Wins scandal.
Just 7 of the 21 convention speakers were women and the agenda included a five-person “Winning in the City” panel with no people of colour and no representation from Surrey, Richmond, North Vancouver, or the Fraser Valley. The panel did, however, include Kamloops MLA Peter Milobar.
Despite B.C. Liberal claims of 800 delegates, there were 511 chairs in the room, many of which were empty during Falcon’s speech. In the single recorded vote tally of the convention, only 209 votes were cast.
Several delegates who spoke against the name change emphasized ideas and policy changes instead of rebranding. As one delegate said, without meaningful change within the party, a rebrand “could look like putting lipstick on a pig.”
B.C. NDP MLA Mable Elmore:
“Instead of showing that he’s learned from his mistakes, Kevin Falcon is doubling down on old approaches that don’t work for people. The B.C. Liberals still aren’t working to represent the diversity of our province and they still don’t understand why British Columbians rejected them. Kevin Falcon is still working for the wealthy and well-connected and leaving everyone else behind.”