The BC Conservative Party gets its first MLA in the BC Legislature for the first time in a decade.
Independent Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad announced on Thursday he has joined the Conservative Party of British Columbia six months after he was removed from the BC Liberal caucus by party leader Kevin Falcon before rebranding the party to BC United.
“Democracy in BC is not what it should be. Political parties like to operate in the shadows. The more secretive they can be, the easier it is for them to spin their message to the public. That needs to change.” Rustad told BC Rise via email.
His sentiments are backed up by the Covid-19 Lessons Learned Reviewed. The report concluded the BC NDP government and Public Health Officer went in to complete secrecy mode taking total control over the pandemic messaging.
The province and PHO censored healthcare professionals, suspended their licenses to practice and threatened with hefty fines.
Government stakeholders noted unacceptable standards of accountability in their submissions to the COVID-19 Lessons Learned.
“There was strict central control of the messaging, including actively discouraging any questioning or challenging of the PHO.”
Rustad has criticized the political landscape in BC for lack of choice.
“Together, we’re fighting for a better BC, alongside thousands of other British Columbians who are fed up with the false choice of the BC NDP or the BC Liberals (BC NDP-lite). ” he said.
Rustad was removed from the BC Liberal caucus in August 2022 because Falcon disagreed with Rustad and his pattern of dissent.
Rustad criticized the BC Liberals “Climate Apocalypse” narrative when it came to dealing with climate change.
“While a diversity of perspectives are encouraged and a source of strength, they cannot exist without that important foundation in place” wrote Falcon.
Rustad said his focus will be to fight for the people and work with them to bring forward solutions to the issues residents in British Columbia are facing.
Rustad shared a social media post shortly before being ejected that questioned the relationship between CO2 emissions and climate change.
“I do not plan to stay silent on the many issues that are just wrong,” he later said. “I plan to be vocal about them.”
“It doesn’t serve the environment movement well, it doesn’t serve us as a province well.”
John van Dongen was the last sitting Conservative MLA who represented the party for a short time in 2012.
The BC Conservative Party has updated it platform and recently rebranded the party. the party has participated in recent by elections with candidates on the ballots. THe ran for Falcons home riding and more recently Harman Bhangu ran in Surrey South receiving 12.7% of the vote.