A pivotal year ends for the BC Liberals

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A pivotal year ends for BC Liberals

BC Liberal Party Leader Kevin Falcon, in a year-end interview at his constituency office.

New leader, new name and new direction: In 2023, the BC Liberals and their leader, Kevin Falcon, want to regain the ground lost to the New Democratic Party.

When Kevin Falcon retired from politics after three terms in 2013, his party was in power. In 2022, the former minister returned to politics as leader of the official opposition, within a party in full reconstruction.

What brought me back to politics is the same thing that drove me to leave it. These are my children. I have two young daughters and I left [politics] because I wanted to be a present father and make sure I was there for them. They are now 12 and 9 years old, and I am thinking of their generation, explains Kevin Falcon, in an end-of-year interview.

In February, the former finance minister made a remarkable comeback in politics, garnering 52% of the votes in the fifth round of the Liberal Party leadership race. Kevin Falcon had to wait until the end of April before entering Victoria, thanks to a by-election in Vancouver Quilchena.

The British Columbia Liberals are not running under the “red” banner, specific to the Liberal brand at the federal level and in other provinces.

Many people do not realize that our job is to hold the government to account, adds Kevin Falcon.

On this point, the 59-year-old is proud to have made the government back down on two files in particular in 2022: the reconstruction of the Royal British Columbia Museum and funding for parents of children who have had a diagnosis. autism spectrum disorders.

  • B.C. : John Horgan's government suspends plans for new Royal Museum

  • BC flip-flops on ending individual funding for autistic children

Regarding the Royal Museum of Colombia British Prime Minister John Horgan suspended the nearly $800 million project just a month after it was announced.

Compared to individual funding for autistic children, this n It was only after the arrival of the new Prime Minister, David Eby, that the government did an about face.

I congratulate these parents who have repeatedly gone out, often in the rain, to try to convince the government not to withdraw this financial support which is so important to support their children, explains Kevin Falcon. For me, these are strong moments, because they were bad decisions that were reversed.

The arrival of David Eby as Prime Minister in November changed the rhythm in Victoria. After several months of inaction, the government has made several announcements regarding public safety, housing accessibility and an increase in the number of family doctors.

On several occasions, the leader of the Liberals seemed destabilized. At the dawn of the new year, Kevin Falcon now denounces the multiplication of ads at the expense of results.

“I want the government to spend less time making announcements and more time trying to fix the problems with the health care system and making the tough decisions that will be needed to change things.

— Kevin Falcon, leader of the BC Liberal Party

Leading a declining party, in opposition since 2017, one of the first Kevin Falcon's actions this year was to propose a referendum to change the name of the BC Liberal Party.

The referendum, won with approximately 80% support, will lead to a name change to BC United in 2023, a decision the principal is defending.

Let us be called Liberals of British Columbia or BC United, it is more our policies or our principles that will matter to voters, argues Kevin Falcon. I want to make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that we will be a broad and very inclusive coalition.

Elenore Sturko on the campaign trail.

In September, the party leader demonstrated that he wanted bet on competent candidates who are also representative of the diversity of the province. Elenore Sturko, sergeant and spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, mother of a homoparental family, easily won the by-election in Surrey South. She is the epitome of the kind of candidates that Kevin Falcon wants to attract.

My goal in 2023 is to recruit exceptional, diverse candidates who reflect different backgrounds and interests, different origins and sexual orientations, and that we have a good caucus with smart people who want to do what's good for the public.

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