Home Election Tracker BC United BC United Party launches new name & branding


BC United Party launches new name & branding

Wednesday April 12, 2023 | SURREY, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

Thin on anything new in the way of policy direction and a rehash of lines that used to draw more of an uproar, BC United Leader Kevin Falcon dashed through a speech to launch the new BC United Party name and branding.

The short livestreamed announcement was a punctuation point of a ramp-up to a BC Liberal Party rebranding that has been in the works for a couple of years. An official party membership vote in November 2022 showed 80% of members in favour.

Visually-speaking, the new party name in large all-caps letters (black or white, depending on the background, with UNITED twice the size of BC) with a swish from red to blue (well, nearly-magenta to cyan) seems plain. All of that, in the graphic design world, is cheaper and easier to produce.

kevin falcon, party name
BC United Party Leader Kevin Falcon announced the party’s new name (changed from BC Liberals), April 12, 2023.

The announcement was made at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Surrey in a room with a few hundred supporters.

“This is a significant step toward what I know will be an extraordinary future for this province,” said Falcon this evening.

More than a new name:

He insisted that it’s about “more than a new name”, but to “work relentlessly to make life better” for British Columbians. “We’re about taking on BC’s biggest challenges and seizing our greatest opportunities,” said Falcon.

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He was interrupted by applause several times during the speech, and each time he said thank you.

Without going into any details, he criticized the current BC government for “a worsening state of affairs”, listing off “NDP stifling investment, eroding BC’s prosperity and shutting down our kids’ opportunities”.

Fresh coat of paint:

david eby, nanaimo
Premier David Eby in Nanaimo April 12, 2023 about the BC Liberal name change: “I don’t think it will change their legacy in this province”. [livestream]

Earlier today Premier David Eby told media that he “understands why” the BC Liberals are changing their party name to BC United, but added “I don’t think it will change their legacy in this province”.

In other words, a new name may be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint for a party that over 16 years (2001-2017) stridently left British Columbians with a crumbling health-care system, stagnated education system, misdirected housing supply, and a dangerously widened gap between the have’s and the have-nots.

And let’s not forget the blind eye that the BC Liberals turned to money laundering by organized crime, and how ICBC was bled dry.

Name change done ahead of 2023 by-elections:

This party name change (and all the new-brand messaging to follow) comes not too far ahead of two upcoming provincial by-elections in 2023 in NDP strongholds.

john horgan, melanie mark
Two MLAs have announced their resignations, kickstarting the byelection process in Langford-Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Mount Pleasant.

One closely-watched by-election will be held in Langford-Juan de Fuca (on the west shore of Greater Victoria with voters in Langford, Sooke and Juan de Fuca) where former BC Premier John Horgan recently retired from provincial politics.

So far, the BC Greens and BC NDP have announced candidates in Langford-Juan de Fuca. Now that the BC United Party has its new name in place, their candidate’s announcement is likely to come soon.

The other by-election will be in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant where former BC cabinet minister Melanie Mark stepped down recently as well. That’s a key metropolitan riding.

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Next BC election date likely on track:

The next BC provincial election is scheduled for October 19, 2024.

Right from the get-go as Premier on November 18, 2023 Premier David Eby has said many times that he will stick to that date.

It makes political sense for Premier Eby to take as much time as he can get before the next election, for many reasons:

  • time to build his profile as the 37th Premier and his leadership of the current NDP government;
  • allowing adequate ramp-up for NDP candidates ahead of by-elections to replace John Horgan and Melanie Mark;
  • plenty of time to shape his roster of candidates for the next election (including watching the performance of cabinet ministers in their current roles);
  • time for various policy directions to settle in and presumably achieve success (e.g. housing supply, cost of living and affordability directions, building up the training capacity for a wide range of careers and trades, strengthening the health-care system, fleshing out child care space availability, climate change initiatives, reduction of the opioid overdose crisis, food sustainability improvements, etc.);
  • allowing time for the BC Liberals to perhaps make some strategic errors.


Updates on the 2023 BC by-elections will be posted in the ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS BY-ELECTIONS ARCHIVE.

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mary p brooke
Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends

Island Social Trends emerged in mid-2020 from a preceding series of publications by founder/editor Mary P Brooke and published by Brookeline Publishing House Inc, covering news of the Vancouver Island region, BC and national issues through a socioeconomic lens.

The publication series began with MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), then morphed to a weekly print newspaper Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and then into the weekly PDF/print West Shore Voice News (2014-2020). The news at IslandSocialTrends.ca (2020 to present) is entirely online.

Ms Brooke has covered political news in the west shore since 2008, and now reports with the BC Press Gallery.