The federal Liberals' latest candidate nomination controversy has led to the resignation of one of the party's B.C. executives.
Mike Hillman has quit as membership chair for the Liberal Party of Canada in B.C. over the "unfathomable" decision to block former Liberal candidate Wendy Yuan from running for the Steveston–Richmond East nomination.
In a letter to LPCBC president Braeden Caley and dated today (August 11), Hillman states:
The decision by this Party to not allow a former candidate in 2 past elections stand before the membership of the Party in the riding of Steveston-Richmond East is, to me, unfathomable.
As Membership Chair for the LPC in BC, I view the decision as being contrary to the right of members in a specific riding to make their choice on the important decision of who should be their candidate. Members have a right to vote and that right must be respected and held high in our Party as a base democratic right of, and obligation we have, to all our members.
On top of this, the decision simply walks away from an individual who has worked tirelessly for this Party and brought thousands of members and dollars to our Party. I just cannot believe we can treat a member, or any member, with such total disregard.
It is with deep regret and an exceptionally long commitment to our Party that I tender to you my resignation effective immediately.
Regarding Hillman, the LPCBC website says that Liberals "call on Mike when faced with challenging situations" and "He is always there for us".
The site also states: "He loves campaigns and has worked on many as Campaign Manager, Director, Chair and volunteer. Of recent note are: Peter Fassbender , Wendy Yuan, Ujjal Dosanjh, Sukh Dhaliwal, Dr. Hedy Fry, Katherine Whittred, and Jeannie Kanakos. Mike also ran Gordon Gibson’s leadership campaign, Christie Clark’s NPA nomination bid and the NPA Vancouver Civic overall campaign for Sam Sullivan and team."
Yuan ran as a Liberal candidate in Vancouver Kingsway in 2008 and 2011.
She's appealed to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to reverse the decision to bar her from running, for which she blames former Richmond Liberal MP Raymond Chan.
Yuan and her supporters plan to protest at the Hamilton Community Centre (5140 Smith Drive, Richmond) this evening, when lawyer and former MP Joe Peschisolido is scheduled to be acclaimed as the Steveston–Richmond East candidate.
In a 2011 opinion piece, Yuan called the Liberals the "party of official multiculturalism".
"Canada is country that allows people from all around the world to realize their own dreams. Liberals believe that we are stronger not despite our differences, but because of them," Yuan wrote.