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BC MLA John Rustad “giving serious consideration” running as BC Conservative leader. What’s the party edge for growth?

“We are going to be focused on doing what’s right to improve the quality of life for all British Columbians. Its not about the political left or right.”

The Conservative Party of BC its up for a leadership race after the currently leader stepped down. Many people have no clue there is a BC Conservative party while some will scuff at the mention of them, however others have turned to the party in search of change.

Last week the then leader of the Conservative Party of British Columbia Trevor Bolin announced he was stepping down to spend more time with his family. The party has currently appointed Bolin as the interim leader until a leadership race begins.

“Recently, I have asked the executive to appoint me the interim leader of the party, and I will officially step into that role today,” Bolin said. “This opens the path for the party to hold a leadership nomination and election that I am excited to be able to assist in from a committee perspective. “A lot of our lives have changed in the last few years, and with the loss of my parents, I have decided my family needs to come first at this time.”

Just a few weeks ago BC MLA John Rustad crossed the floor and joined the BC Conservative party. about six months ago Rustad was booted from the BC Liberals by Kevin Falcon because he dared to break from group think and have his individual opinion.

Rustad the MLA for Nechako Lakes was first elected in 2005. While Rustad joined the BC Conservative party to become it first sitting MLA in a decade it still doesn’t hold official party status as one more sitting MLA would be needed.

BC Rise caught up with Rustad to ask him how his first few weeks with the BC Conservatives is going.

“The first couple of weeks have been hectic. There has been a lot going on both in the legislature but more importantly outside of the legislature with the grassroots. I suspect my schedule will only be getting busier in the coming weeks and months. I’ve championed several issues including hiring back BC’s healthcare workers, opposition to Bill 36, holding a referendum asking the public for permission before any new or increased taxes would be allowed and ending the subsidies on EVs and E-bikes as BC tax payers should not be subsidizing the misery, suffering and environmental degradation of the Congo to try and improve our environment.” Rustad said in an email statement to BC Rise.

Rustad is concerned British Columbians aren’t getting the care they need because of healthcare shortages that have lead to repeat ER closures and surgery delays and wants to get healthcare workers back to work..

“I’ve moved motion 9 forward because BC is in a healthcare crisis. We need every professional we can find to be working in the system to help alleviate the pressure. Even a single doctor can make a huge difference, especially in a small community.

Motion 10 is something I am very passionate about. Everyone focuses on reducing CO2 but nobody is looking at the unintended consequences. I’m putting together a report detailing what the federal and provincial climate policies are going to cost tax payers. But more than that, the policies that are being implemented will drive up prices, reduce food production and in general destroy the quality of life the BC has built for its citizens over many decades. There are an estimates 345 million people in the world today that are facing severe food insecurity. Reducing food production and driving up prices will mean we will directly contribute to people starving. I for one in good consciences can not support these types of policies.

Motion 11 is once again about unintended consequences. We all want to stop Asian hate crimes. But there are government policies that contribute to stereotyping Canadians of Asian decent. This is wrong and we should be looking at ways to eliminate these policies.

It was reported in 2021 by the Straight that the tax had failed to accomplish its goal as housing prices ballooned to record highs. The cost to buy into the housing market has never been more unaffordable than it currently is.

Additionally, most recently Rustad moved motion 22, which he raised an issue with subsidizing electric vehicle and electric bike purchases with taxpayer money and called for an end to privilege use of HOV lanes for electric vehicles and end subsidizing those who can afford to buy an EV with tax money collected from those who can not afford to buy one.

In his speech he said “As of 2022, there is no such thing as a clean supply chain of cobalt from the Congo. All cobalt sourced from the DRC is tainted by various degrees of abuse, including slavery, child labor, forced labor, debt bondage, human trafficking, hazardous and toxic working conditions, pathetic wages, injury and death, and incalculable environmental harm.”

Cobalt is the precious metal used in making electronics and more so batteries for EV’s.

For the last decade the BC Conservatives haven’t had as much voters in the urban areas such as Metro Vancouver, Victoria and other areas of the province. What does Rustad think will give the BC Conservative party the edge to grow?

“People right across this province are frustrated at politics. I hear over and over again that ‘they are all the same’. Many people call the two main political parties NDP and NDP-Lite. I never really understood this until I was kicked out of the BC Liberal Party.”

“I now see why BC needs a new coalition party that is focused on principles and fighting for BC. This is why I’m now a Conservative Party of BC member as I believe the party can become the change that people are looking for.”

“Many people talk about an urban/rural divide. There are huge differences but I disagree with that statement. Everyone across this province have many things in common. Providing for their family. Being able to afford the basics like food, housing and energy. Having services available. Having reasonable taxation and minimizing the touch that government has in their everyday lives. This is where I think the Conservative Party has an advantage. We are not trying to be WOKE. We are not locked into ideology. We are going to be focused on doing what’s right to improve the quality of life for all British Columbians. Its not about the political left or right. It’s about doing what’s right by putting British Columbians first.”

Finally is John Rustad going to run for leadership of the BC Conservative Party?

“I’m giving serious consideration to running for the Conservative Party of BC Leadership.” Rustad said, adding “Family comes first for me. I need to continue the conversation with my wife before I make a final decision.”

He said the leadership rules will most likely be out next week and he will make his final decision to throw his hat in the race or not by then.

He also noted “The petition against bill 36 is gaining momentum. So far more than 15,000 signatures have been collected. Information sessions are being held with good turnouts.”

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Jordan is a casual reporter for BC Rise


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