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Right-wing merger a no-go in B.C. as Falcon and Rustad exchange barbs

Kevin Falcon booted John Rustad out of the BC United caucus, so it should come as no surprise that the two couldn’t see eye-to-eye on a possible merger of the two right-wing parties in British Columbia.

“Kevin Falcon declined our offers in December 2023 to discuss a possible merger – with a single message stating, and I quote, ‘f#ck off,” said Conservative Party of B.C. leader Rustad in a statement this week.

Rustad said they tried to talk merger again this year and those discussions were fruitless. BC United leader Falcon this week made it clear there will be no merger before this fall’s election.

“Over the course of these talks, our only objective was to minimize the risk of vote splitting by prioritizing the good of the province over any personal or political interests,” said Falcon. “I appreciate the genuine good faith displayed by the BC Conservative officials who worked with us toward our common goal of acting in the best interests of British Columbia.

“Despite the common ground achieved during these meetings, last night John Rustad decided to reject a reasonable offer aimed at preventing a vote split, risking another four years of Eby’s NDP government that will further jeopardize the well-being of this province. In doing so, John Rustad placed his own ambition above the best interests of British Columbia.”

Rustad, however, saw the Liberal offer in a different light.

“Time and time again, and in this offer, Kevin Falcon has demonstrated that he will always put himself first and will do absolutely anything for power; before the BC United Party, before his own candidates,  and ultimately before the province.

“Kevin Falcon says publicly that he wants to put his ego aside, but privately, any discussions or ‘offers’ have been completely unserious and dishonest.”

Falcon said that despite the Conservatives rejecting their proposal, no proposal came forward from the Conservatives.

The non-competition framework put forward by BC United was set out as follows:

  • The parties will not merge. They are each responsible for their own leaders, fundraising and election campaigns.
  • The parties agree not to attack one another over the course of the campaign.
  • The parties will not run candidates against each other’s MLAs who are running for re-election. This is two BC Conservative seats and 15 BC United seats.
  • The BC Conservatives will run 47 seats and BC United will run 46 because BC United has more incumbents to protect.
  • The seats will be divided up between the parties in a draft format, whereby the BC Conservatives can each make three choices for each one that BC United makes until each party has picked the same number of ridings (including incumbents). From that point, the parties will alternate choices until the agreed-upon total number of seats for each party is reached.
  • If the combined seat total in the election exceeds the NDP the parties agree to form a coalition government. The premier will be the party leader that won more seats, while the party leader that wins the smaller number of seats will be the Deputy Premier and hold a senior ministerial portfolio. Cabinet seats would be allocated in proportion to the number of seats held by each party.






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