Stick with B.C. Liberals, Manning says

Reform Party founder Preston Manning says his former colleague John Cummins is going the wrong way.

Preston Manning and Premier Christy Clark speak to reporters after a B.C. Liberal caucus meeting at the legislature Wednesday.

VICTORIA – Reform Party founder Preston Manning says his former colleague John Cummins is going the wrong direction by trying to revive the B.C. Conservative Party.

Manning was invited to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to speak to the B.C. Liberal caucus about his work with the Manning Centre For Building Democracy, his main project since retiring as federal opposition leader in 2002. Premier Christy Clark was visibly pleased to have Manning’s public endorsement, as Cummins and other former Reform and Conservative MPs build a campaign against B.C.’s governing party.

“I know all those folks, and I have a long association with John Cummins,” Manning said. “I think he’s one of the most knowledgeable people on the fishery that there is in the country. But I disagree with John on the tack that he’s on. I think in British Columbia it would be better to work within this broader coalition of the Liberal Party.”

Manning said the B.C. Liberals are the most open party in the country about being a coalition with common goals. Former premier Gordon Campbell and now Clark have reduced the polarized politics established in B.C. during W.A.C. Bennett’s 20 years as premier, he said.

“I think positioning one’s self openly as a coalition is the way of the future,” Manning said. “Most parties are, but very few of them talk as openly about it as the premier does.”

Cummins was first elected as a Reform Party MP in 1993, and was re-elected to represent Richmond and Delta five times through Canadian Alliance and Conservative affiliations. Since being acclaimed leader of the long-dormant B.C. Conservative Party in March, he has campaigned against B.C.’s carbon tax and opposed treaties.

Clark said she regularly phones Manning to ask his advice. Gwyn Morgan, the former Encana Corp. CEO who has been an advisor to Clark since her return to politics this year, is also a director of the Manning Centre.

Just Posted

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

UPDATE: DriveBC says highway re-opened after accident

Highway 22 closed for seven hours on Saturday

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Castlegar pastors find life in wheelchair a challenge

The men found the obstacles were both physical and mental.

Columbia Avenue paving scheduled for weekend

Paving on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare will take place in a few days, weather permitting.

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom (updated)

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Most Read