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

Sledder dies near Fernie

Fernie Search and Rescue was tasked by the RCMP to respond to a sledder in medical distress

GALLERY: Elkford goes wild for winter

Big turnout to annual Winter in the Wild festival in Elkford

Fernie Mountain Film Festival this weekend

The Radicals, This Mountain Life to headline Fernie Mountain Film Festival Feb. 22-24

City of Fernie poised to approve $19.3m loan for multi-purpose centre

The City must prove it can pay its portion of the $72.5 million centre if successful for a grant

Elk Valley mines boost overall Teck production

Fording River, Elkview achieve record fourth quarter; Fording, Greenhills have bumper year

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Kootenay man dies in crash near Sparwood

Accident occurred last night east of Sparwood, RCMP appealing for witnesses

POLL: Are Wildlife Detection Systems in the Elk Valley working?

In 2016, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) installed two wildlife… Continue reading

Sparwood zoning bylaw review underway

This is the first comprehensive review of the bylaw since it was adopted in 1981

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Most Read