Home Election Tracker BC Liberal Party BC Liberals choose Kevin Falcon as new leader

BC Liberals choose Kevin Falcon as new leader

Falcon expects a "clash of ideals and perspective and vision for the province".

Monday February 7, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC

EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

On Saturday night it took five rounds, but the anticipated front-runner Kevin Falcon did emerge victorious as the new leader of the BC Liberal Party.

Interim Leader Shirley Bond announced the results of each round, between 6 and 7 pm. In the final round Falcon captured 52.19% of the votes. Ellis Ross gained votes on every round, ending with 33.65%, followed by Michael Lee who also gained ground each time, ending with 14.14%.

kevin falcon, bc liberals
Kevin Falcon won the BC Liberal leadership on Feb 5, 2022.

In his acceptance speech that February 5 evening, Falcon said the NDP “don’t know how to get things done in BC”, saying that when in government, the BC Liberals “got the big things right” including: environment, “economic management”, and child care.

However, arguably those claims are weak. Very little advancement was made with addressing any changes to the economic or infrastructure around climate change impacts. The economy of the province may have boomed with real estate property tax revenues, but ICBC was plundered and a blind eye was turned to casino money laundering. As for child care, even with all the progress in the nearly five years under NDP government improvements to improving child care, the need is still great.

“Leaders bring people together,” he said in his acceptance speech, but “speaking plainly” and without “virtual signalling”. He said that “trust in politics and politicians has never been lower”. He outlined his view that “some people feel polarized, apathetic, and disillusioned with the political process”.

He highlighted affordability, housing, child care and the environment as key issues for his party to grapple with.

First media session:

Today February 7 the new BC Liberal Leader held a media teleconference on Zoom. It was well-attended by almost 30 members of the media.

kevin falcon, zoom meeting
New BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon addressed media via Zoom on February 7, 2022.

Falcon said he had strong results from the membership from the first ballot. That was seen as 47.6% in round 2, 48.3% in round 3, 49.63% in round 4, and ending up with 52.19% in the final round. That was achieved with 4,541.35 points, of the 4,351 needed to win. Total possible voter count from among the membership was 8,700.

Clash of ideals:

Falcon expects a “clash of ideals and perspective and vision for the province” between the BC Liberals and the governing NDP. He notes that the job of the Official Opposition is, indeed, to criticize. “Our job is to disagree”, he said, but noting that can be done without being disagreeable.

The new BC Liberal leader said that social media is “dominated by the NDP and left-wingers” but that the BC Liberals “will be good” on social media. He emphasized that “grassroots politics is really important — that still matters a lot today”.

With sights forward, but referencing the previous NDP government of the 1990s, Falcon said today: “I don’t want to have to clean up a big mess from the NDP again.”

NDP comment:

Earlier today, BC Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation said in a different media session that he happens to agree with what some BC Liberals themselves have said about Kevin Falcon.

  • During the campaign BC Liberal Leader runner-up Bob Ellis said: “We can choose to double down on what has failed in the past and held our party back. Or we can choose change.”
  • In third place on Saturday night was Michael Lee. He said during the leadership campaign: “Your old style of politics, your backroom deals only erodes trust in our party, Kevin. And your old style of politics and the way that you demonstrate this again is not the way we’re going to win the next election.”
  • Val Litwin, who came in fourth on Saturday night said:”The old BC Liberal formula that worked for 16 years, it’s not relevant anymore… I don’t believe that culture, that playbook will beat the NDP in 2024.”

Back to business:

The BC Legislature will be in session again starting tomorrow, after the long winter season break.

Earlier today, the BC Liberals announced that former Interim-Leader Shirley Bond will remain in the role of Leader of the Official Opposition in the B.C. Legislature “until Kevin Falcon has an opportunity to contest a seat that will lead to him officially taking his place as the Leader of the Official Opposition in the Legislature”.

monk office, 70th

BC Liberal Caucus:

The new BC Liberal Caucus was announced today as follows:

shirley bond
BC Liberal Shirley Bond, Leader of the Official Opposition in 2022 until Kevin Falcon gets a seat in the legislature.
  • Leader of the Official Opposition: MLA Shirley Bond
  • House Leader & Official Opposition Critic for Jobs, Economic Recovery, Trade and Innovation: MLA Todd Stone
  • Official Opposition Whip: MLA Doug Clovechok
  • Official Opposition Deputy Whip: MLA Lorne Doerkson
  • Official Opposition Critic for Finance: MLA Peter Milobar
  • Official Opposition Critic for Housing: MLA Mike Bernier
  • Official Opposition Critic for Gender Equity, Accessibility, Inclusion & Sport: MLA Stephanie Cadieux
  • Official Opposition Critic for Mental Health and Addictions and Translink: MLA Trevor Halford
  • Official Opposition Critic for Education, Children and Family Development and Childcare: MLA Karin Kirkpatrick
  • Official Opposition Critic for Labour and Skills Training: MLA Greg Kyllo
  • Official Opposition Critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: MLA Michael Lee
  • Official Opposition Critic for Environment and Climate Change: MLA Renee Merrifield
  • Official Opposition Critic for Energy and LNG: MLA Ellis Ross
  • Official Opposition Critic for Transportation and Infrastructure: MLA Ben Stewart
  • Official Opposition Critic for Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Multiculturalism: MLA Teresa Wat

Following a vote within the Caucus, MLA Coralee Oakes has been elected to the position of Caucus Chair. MLA Jackie Tegart is being put forward as the party’s nominee for Assistant Deputy Speaker.

“I am honoured to have been asked to continue in this important role as our BC Liberal Caucus team works to bring forward the voices of British Columbians in all corners of the province and hold John Horgan and the NDP government to account,” said Shirley Bond today.

The former BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson stepped down as leader immediately following his unsuccessful bid to win a majority in the September 2020 provincial election. Wilkinson is set to step down as the MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena. When that does happen, the government will have up to six months to call a by-election.

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