Stick with B.C. Liberals, Manning says

Reform Party founder Preston Manning says his former colleague John Cummins is going the wrong way.

Preston Manning and Premier Christy Clark speak to reporters after a B.C. Liberal caucus meeting at the legislature Wednesday.

VICTORIA – Reform Party founder Preston Manning says his former colleague John Cummins is going the wrong direction by trying to revive the B.C. Conservative Party.

Manning was invited to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to speak to the B.C. Liberal caucus about his work with the Manning Centre For Building Democracy, his main project since retiring as federal opposition leader in 2002. Premier Christy Clark was visibly pleased to have Manning’s public endorsement, as Cummins and other former Reform and Conservative MPs build a campaign against B.C.’s governing party.

“I know all those folks, and I have a long association with John Cummins,” Manning said. “I think he’s one of the most knowledgeable people on the fishery that there is in the country. But I disagree with John on the tack that he’s on. I think in British Columbia it would be better to work within this broader coalition of the Liberal Party.”

Manning said the B.C. Liberals are the most open party in the country about being a coalition with common goals. Former premier Gordon Campbell and now Clark have reduced the polarized politics established in B.C. during W.A.C. Bennett’s 20 years as premier, he said.

“I think positioning one’s self openly as a coalition is the way of the future,” Manning said. “Most parties are, but very few of them talk as openly about it as the premier does.”

Cummins was first elected as a Reform Party MP in 1993, and was re-elected to represent Richmond and Delta five times through Canadian Alliance and Conservative affiliations. Since being acclaimed leader of the long-dormant B.C. Conservative Party in March, he has campaigned against B.C.’s carbon tax and opposed treaties.

Clark said she regularly phones Manning to ask his advice. Gwyn Morgan, the former Encana Corp. CEO who has been an advisor to Clark since her return to politics this year, is also a director of the Manning Centre.

Just Posted

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in Chilliwack

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says

HospitalPayParking.ca is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

B.C.’s best craft distilleries back in Chilliwack for Fraser Valley Distillery Festival

Small-batch spirits, appetizers, live music, candy and more come together for FV Distillery Festival

Another vacant house goes up in flames in Chilliwack

An ongoing problem with landlords not securing properties from squatters

Chilliwack curlers qualify for B.C. Mixed Doubles Championship

Allison Bourne and Stephen Strathdee survived a Lower Mainland playdown in Abbotsford last weekend.

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Abbotsford woman speaks out after she fainted and bystanders ignored her

Meghan Canavan says bystanders walked by with no offer of help after she fainted recently

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

Fraser Valley Bandits reveal mascot name

Berry the Bandit officially unveiled, makes first public appearance tomorrow

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

Mennonite Central Committee hosts fundraising banquet in Chilliwack

An evening of dining, sharing in community and storytelling at Sardis Community Church

Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying with taxpayers’ money

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Most Read