He’s the new kid on the provincial political block but he’s not a political neophyte.
John Cummins, the newly elected leader of the B.C Conservative party and former MP for the Reform and later Conservative parties, visited Williams Lake Monday.
But despite the recent creation of a constituency association in the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding — one of 50 across the province — it didn’t appear to generate a ground swell of support for Cummins, judging by the number of vacant seats at Monday’s meet-and-greet event.
Cummins bills his party as, “the common sense choice for British Columbia,” and the underdog up against “two well-financed parties.”
He introduced the party’s platform that includes: balancing the budget, spending health-care money “wisely,” providing more money for police and prosecutors, scrapping the carbon tax, lowering corporate taxes, not increasing the minimum wage, and managing natural resources for the benefit of all British Columbians.
Cummins characterized the carbon tax as unfair to British Columbians living, in particular, in the interior areas of the province as their goods have to be transported further and travelling distances are greater.
He called the Prosperity mine an “amazing project that will create jobs and wealth in the region,” and added that action was needed in the place of consultation or “deal” with First Nations groups, “who do not have title to the land.”
“Natural resources are owned by all British Columbians and are held in trust by the provincial government. We believe in community consultation and no one community’s ideas are more important than any other.”
He also downplayed the fear on the political right that the Conservative party will split the vote come the next provincial election saying, “I think the Liberals are on a path of self destruction.”