Right-wing merger not possible in BC as Falcon and Rustad swap leaders – Prince George Daily News


Kevin Falcon kicked John Rustad out of the BC United faction, so it should come as no surprise that no agreement could be reached on a possible merger of the two right-wing parties in British Columbia.

“Kevin Falcon rejected our offers in December 2023 to discuss a possible merger – with a single message in which he said, and I quote, 'Fuck off,'” Rustad, leader of the Conservative Party of British Columbia, said in a statement this week.

Rustad said they tried again this year to discuss a merger, but those talks came to nothing. BC United boss Falcon made it clear this week that there would be no merger before the fall election.

“Throughout these discussions, our sole objective was to minimize the risk of vote splitting by putting the welfare of the province above personal or political interests,” Falcon said. “I appreciate the genuine trust of British Columbia's Conservative officials who worked with us toward our shared goal of acting in the best interests of British Columbia.”

“Despite the consensus reached at these meetings, John Rustad decided last night to reject a reasonable offer aimed at preventing a vote split. In doing so, he risks another four years of Eby's NDP government, which will further endanger the well-being of this province. In doing so, John Rustad has placed his own ambitions above the interests of British Columbia.”

Rustad, however, saw the Liberals’ offer in a different light.

“Kevin Falcon has proven time and time again, including with this bid, that he always puts himself first and will do absolutely anything for power; before the BC United Party, before his own candidates and ultimately before the province.

“Kevin Falcon says publicly that he wants to put his ego aside, but privately any discussions or 'offers' were completely frivolous and dishonest.”

Falcon said that despite the rejection of her proposal, the Conservatives had not put forward a proposal of their own.

The non-compete framework proposed by BC United was set out as follows:

  • The two parties will not merge. Each is responsible for its own leadership, fundraising and election campaigns.
  • The parties agree not to attack each other during the election campaign.
  • The parties will not field candidates against the other parties' MPs who are running for re-election. The seats at stake are two for the BC Conservative Party and 15 for BC United.
  • The British Columbia Conservatives will win 47 seats and BC United will win 46, as BC United has more incumbents to protect.
  • Seats are allocated between the parties in a draft format, with the BC Conservatives able to make three proposals for each BC United proposal until each party has an equal number of constituencies elected (including incumbents). From that point, the parties alternate their proposals until the agreed total number of seats for each party is reached.
  • If the total number of seats at the election is higher than the NDP's, the parties agree to form a coalition government. The leader of the party that wins more seats becomes prime minister, while the leader of the party with fewer seats becomes deputy prime minister and holds a senior ministerial post. Cabinet seats are allocated in proportion to the number of seats each party has.