B.C. Conservative Party leader Wilf Hanni resigns over infighting

Wilf Hanni has resigned as leader of the B.C. Conservative Party, citing infighting among members of its board of directors.

With their party in shambles, 11 other directors and officials have also quit.

Hanni and several board members issued the following statement today (June 30):

Wilf Hanni has been Party Leader since 2005 and since that time, we have fought hard to unite this Party and to build it into a force to be reckoned with in B.C. Politics. At times the fight seemed overwhelming, but we stuck with it and despite the difficulties, we were able to accomplish a lot.

We have spent much of the last four years fighting a long and protracted battle with a group of dissidents. As a result, the Party has amassed almost $30,000 in legal bills and we still have not managed to unite the members of the Board of Directors. A small band of Board Members still insists on fighting and having its own way.

Despite these difficulties, under Wilf Hanni’s leadership and with the help of our hard working and dedicated Board members, we have managed to adopt a great new set of policies and a good constitution. We have also built our Party membership several times over. In addition, we have more than tripled the number of candidates in the 2009 Election campaign, compared to the 2004 election and have also tripled our percentage of the popular vote in the ridings in which we ran candidates.

We were hoping to achieve peace in the Party so that we could work together to build on our success and turn our Party into a real force in the next election campaign, but our efforts continue to be undermined. The constant infighting is continuing and there does not appear to be any end in sight.

Accordingly the following members of the Board of Directors have decided to resign from our positions and from the BC Conservative Party, effective immediately:

Wilf Hanni, Party Leader
Bob Eedy, Vice-president
Maria Dobi, Party Secretary
Shirley Abraham, Director and Former President
David Duncan, Director
Yvonne Dunlop, Director and Recording Secretary
Liz Eedy, Director
Barb Smith, Director
Mathew Hanni, Director

In addition, the following people have resigned since the May 12th General Election because of this ongoing infighting.

Gill Picard, Party Secretary and Webmaster
Lis Quinn, Treasurer and Financial Agent
Gary Johncox, Director and Fundraising Manager.

The Conservatives fielded 24 candidates in the May election. They garnered 34,465 votes, or 2.1 percent of the popular vote.

As the party’s candidate for Kootenay East, Hanni placed third, with 1,643 votes, or 9.98 percent support.

You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.

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