Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Opinion: B.C. Conservatives on the rise, while Eby, Falcon falter

Whether you voted NDP or United, the same policies were implemented
Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad is the leader of the BC Conservatives.

The floor-crossing of MLA Bruce Banman (Abbotsford South) combined with Mainstreet Research’s poll of September 8th placing the NDP at 34.8%, BC Conservatives at 26.6%, and BC United at 21.5% seals the fate of Opposition Leader Kevin Falcon and Premier David Eby on October 19th, 2024.

For those of us who departed from the consensus long ago, this comes as no surprise. But for those in need of an explanation, I am happy to provide my notes.

Politics is about choices. If one stands at the end of any legislature, you will observe that there is seating on the left and the right, separated by the Speaker’s chair. This is for clarity: the one side acts as government, the other side acts as opposition. Like the adage “on the one hand,” there is a choice to be made: each side offers differing policies based on conceptions of how the world works from that particular party’s principles. This system is over 1000 years old.

But you are forgiven if this description confuses you, especially in British Columbia, as we have not had two choices for at least a decade. Whether you voted NDP or United, the same policies were implemented: higher taxes; cuts to education; bloated health authority costs while frontline staff and services decreased; increased poverty, homelessness, drug-use, and crime in the name of “harm reduction;” SOGI, UNDRIP, Bill-C36; and the highest cost of living in Canada.

These realities - “the cost of living going up and the chance of living going down” - did not bring joy to a majority of the populace. Voting Orange or Teal did not have any effect on the result - there was no government and opposition, only an all-party consensus that governed the province in tandem, from grazing permits to vaccine passports. The most beautiful place on Earth had become just like East Germany. In Soviet B.C., you no have parties, parties have you!

Thankfully, MLA John Rustad of Nechako Lakes, who got canceled by Falcon last summer for standing apart from the consensus, and MLA Bruce Banman have reinvigorated the B.C. Conservative Party, finally giving the people a voice in the form of an Opposition. The choice on the ballot in October 2024 will be the B.C. Tories offering a clear alternative platform, and everyone else promising to do “more, faster, harder, better” with the policies already in action.

Turning up the policies we already have on the books to 13 from 11 is the definition of insanity: harm reduction is literally killing people daily, destroying the downtown of every municipality in B.C.; divisive politics in the classroom have distracted from the purpose of school which is learning how to think; healthcare is in freefall and families cannot afford any more taxes as costs rise into the stratosphere.

The abdication of leadership cannot go on either. UNDRIP is causing division between all British Columbians, as every kind of permit in our vast hinterland becomes more difficult to obtain. The drought has driven our producers and ranchers into a crisis, with zero alleviation or adequate emergency funding. Meanwhile, wildfire crews do their best in the worst of possible conditions, as desk-bound bureaucrats tell citizens to stand down and watch their homes burn.

Truly, the most beautiful place on Earth is in a state of chaos, bordering on anarchy in certain quarters, precisely because of United-NewDem-Liberal Party policies, and its dear leaders have done nothing to correct course. I no longer spend time wondering if there will be a Canada when my daughter can vote. Instead, I puzzle over British Columbia, and whether we’ll be partitioned before she can walk. How can our province survive being so deeply divided?

Peace, order, and good government require many things, including the rule of law and the supremacy of God according to our constitution. But these principles cannot exist without a person embodying them, giving them life.

Perhaps Rustad is such a person. I sure hope so.

Nathan Giede is a Prince George writer who ran for the B.C. Conservatives in the 2013 provincial election in Prince George-Valemount.