B.C. Conservative Party faction seeks to oust John Cummins
Slate hopes to trigger leadership review at weekend convention
A group of B.C. Conservative Party members is seeking to oust leader John Cummins at the party's annual general meeting this Saturday in Langley.
The group, which call itself Friends of B.C. Conservative Party, is running a seven-member slate for the party's executive positions. They are being led by Ben Besler, the party's current vice-president, who is running for party president.
Besler is calling for Conservatives to vote in favour of a leadership review, which would force Cummins to step down immediately and launch a leadership contest. Ballots have been sent to party members and the results will be announced at the party's annual meeting on Sept. 22.
But slate is already opposed by another group called Friends of John Cummins that was formed earlier. That group is urging members to reject a vote that would see Cummins's leadership reviewed.
For his part, Cummins says he expects party members to turn down the leadership review option and believes the Conservatives will emerge from the weekend strong, united and ready to take on Premier Christy Clark's Liberals.
As of last Wednesday 10 of the 18 B.C. Conservative board members had joined the Friends of John Cummins group, but the Conservatives' only elected member, Abbotsford South MLA John van Dongen, was not among those endorsing Cummins's leadership.
The most recent poll by Angus Reid put the Conservatives in third place with 19 per cent voter support, behind the governing Liberals at 25 per cent and the opposition NDP at 46 per cent.
With files from The Canadian Press