THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT
The B.C. Liberal leadership race began in earnest today with the entry of two potential frontrunners.
Former finance minister Kevin Falcon and Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee joined two other candidates, Skeena MLA Ellis Ross and former Vancouver–Mount Pleasant candidate Gavin Dew, who’ve already declared.
Falcon was also minister of transportation, minister of health, and minister of deregulation in previous B.C. Liberal governments.
After leaving politics, he became vice president of Anthem Capital.
Lee, a lawyer, was the Official Opposition critic for the attorney general before being appointed as the critic for transportation, infrastructure and TransLink.
Falcon and Lee have both had ties to the federal Conservatives in the past.
New Democrats have been tweeting a photo of Falcon with Maxime Bernier, whom he endorsed in the 2017 Conservative leadership race.
Ross was minister of natural gas development and minister responsible for housing for a brief period after the 2017 election when the B.C. Liberals briefly retained power. He’s also a former chief councillor of the Haisla Nation.
Other potential candidates are conservative political commentator Aaron Gunn, Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield, former Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka, and former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO Val Litwin.
Kevin Falcon has issued the following statement in response to the NDP’s criticism of his support for Maxime Bernier:
“During the 2017 Conservative Party Leadership, I backed Maxime Bernier based on his economic policies and support for the LGBTQ+ community. I unequivocally condemn his offensive statements and have not been in contact with him since he left the Conservative Party.”