An SFU public policy professor is skeptical of claims by some environmental groups that they helped to thwart Kevin Falcon’s B.C. Liberal leadership bid.
“I think that’s pretty unlikely,” Doug McArthur told the Straight by phone today (March 3).
“I would be very, very surprised if they could document in any way that they were the factor that made the difference between Falcon winning and losing.”
Falcon narrowly lost to Christy Clark in the February 26 party vote.
McArthur said the environment played only a “minor role” in the leadership contest and added there were “relatively minor distinctions” between the candidates on green issues.
Prior to the leadership vote, groups called the Conservation Voters of B.C. and the B.C. Green Liberals encouraged party members to leave Falcon off of the preferential ballots. They also recommended how to rank the remaining three candidates.
The Conservation Voters of B.C., which bills itself as non-partisan, had singled out Falcon as the worst candidate in terms of environmental leadership.
The group has claimed the Falcon campaign was almost silent on the environment while the other leadership candidates on the ballot took at least some encouraging positions.
“I would say that we had the effect of helping to keep Falcon from becoming the premier of B.C.,” Conservation Voters of B.C. director Kevin Washbrook told the Straight recently.