- Kevin Falcon has been elected as the Liberal Party’s leader in British Columbia.
- The petition was prompted by concerns about the party’s recent audit of new members signed up during the leadership campaign.
- Former MLA Laurie Throness was expelled from the party after comparing free contraception to eugenics.
Kevin Falcon has won the Liberal leadership race in British Columbia.
On the fifth ballot, the former minister from Gordon Campbell’s and Christy Clark’s governments won the election.
After Stan Sipos, Renee Merrifield, Gavin Dew, and Val Litwin dropped off the ballot, Falcon received 47% of the vote on the first ballot as well as passed the required 50% threshold.
MLA Ellis Ross came in second, and MLA Michael Lee came in third.
The party uses a point-based system to equally weigh all 87 ridings in the province.
Until the last few days, the leadership had gotten little attention.
Vikram Bajwa, a Liberal member, had petitioned the B.C. Supreme Court for an order delaying the release of the race’s results, but Justice Heather MacNaughton ruled against him earlier Saturday.
Concerns about the party’s recent audit of new members signed up during the leadership campaign prompted the petition.
Litwin, who came in fourth place in the race, said earlier this week that if Falcon won, he would leave the party.
Merrifield, who came in sixth place out of a field of seven, expressed her displeasure with Falcon but stopped short of accusing him of cheating during the leadership race.
Falcon needs to put everything behind him.
The new leader’s 1st duty will be to gain a seat in the British Columbia legislature. Former leader Andrew Wilkinson is expected to resign as MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena.
Falcon is expected to run in the by-election, which the B.C. govt will have up to six months to call.
In the 2020 provincial election, Wilkinson led the B.C. Liberals to just 28 seats and just under 34% of the vote.
In the 2017 provincial election, the party received 40% of the vote and won 43 seats. Following the election, Christy Clark lost a confidence vote, and John Horgan was elected Premier of British Columbia.
The B.C. Liberals saw a significant drop in support in Metro Vancouver, losing votes in the Tri-Cities, Surrey, Richmond, Langley, the North Shore, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack.
The party must also address concerns about diversity and inclusion. Laurie Throness, a former MLA, was kicked out of the party after comparing free contraception to eugenics.
Source: Global News
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