B.C. Conservative party revolt surprises John Cummins supporters


Supporters of B.C. Conservative Leader John Cummins were caught off-guard by the mutiny that has engulfed the party in recent days.

“Absolutely, we were blindsided,” Al Siebring admitted in a phone interview with the Straight.

A councillor in North Cowichan, Siebring heads a slate of pro-Cummins candidates vying for various party positions in what is expected to be a tumultuous annual general meeting of B.C. Conservatives this Saturday (September 22) in Langley. Siebring is running for party president.

A group calling itself the Friends of B.C. Conservative Party is demanding a leadership contest.

In a previous interview with the Straight, ex–B.C. Liberal leader Gordon Wilson suggested that influential business circles do not have confidence in Cummins in the same way they’re not hopeful that B.C. Liberal premier Christy Clark can hold off a victory by the B.C. NDP in next year’s provincial election.

Asked for comment, Siebring responded by saying “Gordon Wilson is entitled to his opinion.” But he also acknowledged that he has “no idea what the impetus is behind” the anti-Cummins revolt.

“In any other set of circumstances,” Siebring continued, “if we weren’t eight months away from an election, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that [having a leadership contest]. But to do that right now, strategically, is the height of stupidity. Even the [B.C.] Liberals, who badly need a new leader, aren’t stupid enough to go down this road.”

Abbotsford South MLA John van Dongen, who broke ranks with the B.C. Liberals to join the B.C. Conservatives in March, hasn’t publicly declared support for the embattled Cummins. Van Dongen didn’t grant the Straight an interview before deadline.

Comments (8) Add New Comment
out at night
The right is right to be trying to bounce Cummins out simply because he won't join forces with the Liberals. The Friends of the Conservatives are no doubt Friend of the Liberals who just want a puppet who will agree to share a hastily coalesced right wing alternative to the NDP. Anything less than a union (or elimination of the Conservative party) is looking more and more like a win for the NDP.

For their part, the left should be trying to keep a few jumps ahead of this possible play for right wing unification and voters in BC should not be guilty of complacency. We may need to really get out the vote for the NDP if these right wing assholes get their shit together.
Rating: +1
Ron S.
All the LIbERalS and CONServatives are waiting for is the right leader that can convince the public to let them buy them off. I will not be bought off next election. I will vote for neither the LIbERalS or the CONServatives. Neither deserve a vote. If your a CONServative look at Harper. What a corrupt sob he is. The LIbERalS of BC? Don't get me on a rant about their knee high involvement in corruption in every ministerial department. I'm voting for the NDP because they have the middle and lower class in mind, not the 1%.
Rating: +1
Cummins was a warm body who was looking for work (and another pension), and he had some minor name recognition. Beyond that, he was never leadership material ... let alone premier material.

At best Cummins is a curmudgeon ... and not a very bright one.

But changing leaders at this stage? Now THAT is dumb.
Rating: +5
Cummins is an unelectable dinosaur, so it's not surprising they want to dump him.

Very first thing I ever heard about the guy was him making statements to the media about how homosexuality is a choice and backing that homophobic Burnaby parent group who were trying to get the school district to back down on essentially saying that bullying someone for their sexual orientation wasn't okay.

That ain't how you go about making friends in BC.
Rating: +6
Craig Heber
Could it be that as the Neo Cons usurped the PC Party federally and renamed it the CPC .... that the social conservatives in BC realize that a person with Cummings "baggage" and slant is wrong for the party .... HARPER has destroyed the COnservative brand in BC .... He lost seats between 2008 and 2011 .... maybe more if ROBOFRAUD scandal is accurate ......the Northern Gateway pipeline .... has done it in .... Cummings will destro the party by the time a provincial election happens .... they are right to jump ship now !
Rating: -2
Andrew Southard
Hmmm,really,did he just wake up?...maybe 25 years ago he could have done it...this is simple,get those folks that recently shifted their home lives to our country,the ones with the 95 GPA kids that drive their Carreras to UBC,while their aged parents 'use' our health care till it breaks,let them see the way, how steering a few million that they didn't need to use getting investment status immigration would be a smart investment in getting Dianne Watts to run, whatever it takes, it will benefit them in the end....if not look forward to the NDP running the city and the province
Rating: -1
This is British Columbia - we do things different this side of the rockpile. Anyone who thinks the results of the next Provincial election is a foregone conclusion must be from Ontario. Cummins is an out of touch cranky old curmudgeon and Christy Clark missed her mark - she's toast! B.C. has been a coalition province since W.A.C.B. and we still are - There is growing worry that Adrian Dix could win the next election, he makes a lot of people nervous and the coalition people aren't about to lay down and give up. Look for more stirring of the pot.
Rating: +10
Well he may seem awkward at pub nights, or out of place, but never cranky when I saw him, personally he is alright, just politically he's got problems.
Rating: -4
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