Four conservative candidates, Leah McCulloch (left to right), Justin Greenwood, Kay Hale, and Graham Bower, president Ryan Warawa, and treasurer Bob Bray were among those who attended the party’s AGM in Langley last weekend. (Special to the Langley Advance)

Conservatives appoint interim leader, prepare for mass Liberal exodus

A Vernon councillor has been picked to lead the party after Saturday’s AGM in Langley.

Following the fall of the Liberals in the last provincial election, Scott Anderson believes B.C. is ripe to embrace the BC Conservatives next time they go to the polls.

“My intention is to help brand the party as a home for all fiscal conservatives, including the thousands of former BC Liberals who were betrayed and left out in the cold by the recent Liberal throne speech.”

Anderson was appointed the new, interim leader of the political party following their annual general meeting held in Langley over the weekend.

“I am deeply honoured to be entrusted with the role of interim leader of this great party,” Anderson said.

“Having been on the inside through both the hard times and the good times, I can say with complete candor that I have never seen the party so united and energetic as it is now.”

Anderson is a long-time member and a four-term board member of the BC Conservatives, having served on the executive since 2013. He is a business owner, Vernon city councillor, and until recently an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves.

“I believe that this is the time for all small ‘c’ conservatives to unite, no longer abandoning your core beliefs for an alleged ‘coalition’ that will do and say anything for your vote,” he said.

“I intend to ensure that this party remains on course towards becoming a strong, viable choice for British Columbians as we prepare to launch our 2018 leadership race,” Anderson added.

His appointment – as interim leader – will last until a new leader is elected by the general membership. It was decided followed last Saturday’s AGM in Murrayville, where Ryan Warawa was elected the party’s new president. It’s a position he held a dozen years ago, and said it was like a “flash back” for him, taking the helm again.

He noted that four of the new nine directors elected Saturday are under the age of 42.

“It’s definitely a young board moving forward,” he said, noting he grew up in Murrayville, now lives in Vancouver, but maintains strong ties to his hometown where his father continues to serve as the Conservative MP for Langley-Aldergrove.

Warawa is joined on the executive by Surrey’s Jeff Bridges who will serve as vice-president, as well as Vancouver Island’s Bob Bray, who serves as treasurer.

The meeting also included greetings from Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese, speeches by Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman about resource development, a taxation presentation from Canadian Taxpayers Federation BC director Kris Sims, and a discussion about the future of the party lead by former New Westminster-Burnaby candidate Chloe Ellis.

Efforts were also expended by the new board to organize the Party’s leadership race and help assemble a campaign to elect a Conservative in the Kelowna West byelection.

 

BC Conservative’s interim leader Scott Anderson (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)