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Falcon ‘not concerned’ about poll showing BC United trailing Conservatives

BC United leader accuses of current government of being too focused on urban B.C.
BC United Leader Kevin Falcon, here seen speaking at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in Vancouver, said he is not worried a new poll that shows his party behind the Conservative Party of B.C. (UBCM/Flickr)

A new poll shows BC United behind the Conservative Party of B.C., but Leader Kevin Falcon said his party is not “very concerned”.

While speaking from Kamloops Tuesday (Oct. 10), Falcon also used the opportunity to accuse Premier David Eby’s NDP government of of being too focused on the urban parts of B.C.

The poll by Leger released last week shows that 42 per cent of decided voters would vote for the BC NDP, 25 per cent for the Conservative Party of B.C. and 19 per cent for the BC United. The BC Green Party would receive 10 per cent and three per cent would vote for another party.

Falcon said his party changed its name from BC Liberals only six months ago and it will take time for that transition to take hold.

“We recognized all along that it would take time for the public to get to understand…what BC United — the former BC Liberals — stands for in terms of making streets safe, making housing affordable, reducing cost-of-living,” Falcon said.

He added that the only advantage for the Conservative Party of B.C. is that “they happen to have the same name as the federal Conservative Party” in speaking of voter confusion.

“They (voters) are actually thinking about the federal Conservatives and Pierre Poilievre,” Falcon said. “They are not thinking about the (provincial) Conservatives, I can assure you. But what we know with confidence is by the time the next election rolls around…people revert back to the choices that they know, who can actually form a government and deliver the change they want.”

Falcon made these comments while announcing that four current members of BC United caucus representing ridings in the interior of B.C. would run again, albeit in new boundaries.

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BC United House Leader Todd Stone, who currently represents Kamloops South-Thompson, will run in Kamloops-North Thompson, while Peter Milobar, who currently represents Kamloops North-Thompson, will run in the new riding of Kamloops Centre, following changes that have created six ridings for a new total of 93 and adjusted the boundaries of 72 existing ones.

Jackie Tegart, who currently represents Fraser-Nicola while serving as assistant deputy speaker in the provincial legislature, will also run again in that riding. But that riding will no longer include Tegart’s home town of Ashcroft. It is now part of Cariboo-Chilcotin, where Lorne Doerkson will once run again for BC United.

“These four MLAs, working alongside our entire BC United team, will help deliver the results — not the announcements, not the re-announcements, not the photo-ops — that we need in British Columbia,” Falcon said.

Falcon accused the governing NDP of becoming “an urban government” that represents “urban British Columbia and Vancouver Island” in saying that he wants to become premier for all of B.C., not just the Lower Mainland.

“But frankly, they ignore the rest of the province,” Falcon said. “I may be an MLA from Vancouver, but I’m a former minister of transportation, a former minister of health, I’m somebody who has spent a good chunk of my life travelling to every part of this province and I understand that the vast majority of the wealth of this province is still produced outside the Lower Mainland and we got to make sure that we have a government that represents the entire province.”

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Falcon’s comments come after Eby last month said his government is committed to helping rural British Columbia.

“I can think we can do a better job than previous governments have of delivering for rural communities and I look forward to proving that, because really just saying that isn’t sufficient,” he said after addressing delegates at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities annual conference in Vancouver on Sept. 22. “We actually need to show it.”

He pointed to two announcements made during his speech.

The first sees the province spend $4.75 million to help train volunteer firefighters. The second sees $20 million go toward the Canadian Cancer Society and Hope Air help people in rural and remote areas travel for cancer.

Eby’s promises came during a short speech that preceded an extensive period that saw him answer questions from the delegates’ floor with outgoing UBCM president Jen Ford moderating.

“I’m not going to pretend to be anything other than a guy who lives in Vancouver,” Eby said. “I grew up in a suburban area, I don’t know rural life like many people in this room. But what I do know and what I’ve heard from you many times and what every member of our caucus in from a rural community reinforces for me all the time, is that government needs to have a lens on programs to understand that programs and implementation (of programs) play out differently in rural communities.”

Eby’s promise coincided with the release of the StrongerBC: Good Lives in Strong Communities platform. It promises among other improvements better access to health care, improved transportation and internet access.


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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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