The B.C. Conservative Party (BCCP) has named a new interim leader.
Scott Anderson, a city councillor for Vernon, was selected in a unanimous vote by the party’s board of directors, according to an October 4 statement.
The B.C. Conservative Party is not related to Canada’s federal Conservative Party and has long struggled to gain a footing in provincial politics.
In last May’s provincial election, the BCCP received 10,402 votes compared to the B.C. Liberals’ 796,672, the B.C. NDP’s 795,106, and the B.C. Greens’ 332,387.
The BCCP’s website describes Anderson as a business owner and former officer in the Canadian Armed Forces who’s currently enrolled at the University of British Colombia where he’s nearing completion of a Master’s degree in international relations. It also states he’s a long-time member of the party and a four-term board member who ran to represent the riding of Vernon-Monashee in B.C.'s 2013 election.
"Having been on the inside through both the hard times and the good times, I can say with complete candor that I have never seen the party so united and energetic as it is now,” Anderson said quoted in the BCCP’s October 4 release. “My intention is to help brand the party as a home for all fiscal conservatives, including the thousands of former B.C. Liberals who were betrayed and left out in the cold by the recent Liberal Throne Speech."
Those remarks are in reference to a hail-Mary play that former B.C. premier Christy Clark made in an attempt to hold on to power last June. While the NDP and the Greens met to discuss a coalition that eventually toppled the Liberal government, Clark made a speech in the legislature that abandoned many long-time Liberal positions in favour of policies that closely resembled those of the NDP.
"I believe that this is the time for all small ‘c’ conservatives to unite, no longer abandoning your core beliefs for an alleged ‘coalition’ that will do and say anything for your vote," Anderson continued. "I intend to ensure that this party remains on course towards becoming a strong, viable choice for British Columbians as we prepare to launch our 2018 leadership race.”