B.C. Conservatives have rejected election deal to avoid vote splitting, B.C. United leader says

B.C. United Leader Kevin Falcon says the provincial Conservatives have rejected a deal to avoid vote-splitting in the fall provincial election.

In a statement released Friday morning, Falcon said talks between the two right-of-centre parties concluded with B.C. Conservatives Leader John Rustad rejecting a proposed “non-competition” agreement.

Falcon said Rustad has “placed his own ambition” above B.C.’s interests and is risking the re-election of the governing NDP in October.

He said talks took place between two representatives of each party this month, most recently on Wednesday, and B.C. United had proposed a non-competition framework.

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Falcon said the proposal included the two parties not running candidates against each other’s members, with the B.C. Conservatives running in 47 seats and B.C. United in 46.

But Falcon said despite common ground between the representatives, Rustad rejected the proposal on Thursday night and made no counter-offer.

Other points in the B.C. United proposal included that the parties would not merge and that they would refrain from attacking each other during campaigning for the October election, Falcon said.

Conservative reaction

Rustad also released a statement Friday in which he attacked Falcon and quashed any possibility of a merger, saying Falcon definitively rejected the idea late last year.

“Kevin Falcon declined our offers in December 2023 to discuss a possible merger — with a single message stating, and I quote, ‘F–k Off’,” Rustad said in the statement. 

According to the Conservative leader, Falcon prioritized personal ambition over party unity and the interests of the province.

“[Falcon] says publicly that he wants to put his ego aside, but privately, any discussions or ‘offers’ have been completely unserious and dishonest,” the statement said.

Rustad has previously pledged to run candidates in all 93 electoral districts.

“Unlike [Falcon], I intend to keep my promises,” he said. 


Posted in CBC