BC Conservatives Choose New Leader Today
Prince George, B.C. – Members of the BC Conservative Party are gathered in Prince George this weekend to select a new leader.
Vanderhoof-area guide-outfitter Dan Brooks was elected leader of the party in April, 2014 to replace John Cummins, who stepped down in July, 2013. Brooks defeated Rick Peterson for the position.
Brooks then resigned as leader in January, 2016 citing legal action brought by Peterson against Brooks and several other party members. In July of this year Brooks noted that the legal action, which was entering its third year, was going nowhere and would no longer be a burden to him and his family. He announced he would be seeking a mandate from the membership at this leadership convention.
Brooks faces two challengers in today’s vote: Kelowna financial advisor Konrad Pimiskern and Vancouver researcher and statistical analyst Jay Cross. A fourth announced candidate, 25-year-old financial industry advisor Chloe Ellis of New Westminster, stepped out of the race on September 9th due to a family member’s terminal health diagnosis.
Konrad Pimiskern was raised in Horseshoe Bay, graduated from West Vancouver secondary, started his career in finance in Vancouver in 1993 and moved with his wife and three kids to Kelowna in 2000. He says “as a financial advisor I have worked intimately with hundreds of families for over 20 years. My work has given me tremendous insight into what real people are thinking and experiencing in the real world.” Leading up to the leadership convention he has been holding Skype town hall meetings twice daily to discuss issues with the party membership.
Jay Cross has a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University in New York, an MA from Uvic, BSc in Biochemistry from UBC and a Computer Systems diploma from BCIT. He specializes in survey research design and field experiments involving organizational change interventions. Cross states “our party has important ideas but it has consistently failed to achieve power…..because our fundraising program is underdeveloped.” He adds “my goal as leader is to create a fundraising machine that will give our Conservative Party the edge it needs to win the 2017 and future BC elections.”
Dan Brooks, as noted earlier, is the former party leader and owns the Crystal Lake Lodge near Vanderhoof. He was a BC Conservative Party candidate in the 2013 election and finished third in the riding of Nechako Lakes. Brooks states that he is the leader who “can recruit a team of outstanding BC Conservative candidates for the 2017 election and guide them to success, develop policy ideas that will win support from British Columbians across the entire province and united the party and achieve historic results in 2017.”
Following an 8:15 am address by Mayor Lyn Hall opening the convention at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, delegates will hear from the three leadership candidates and vote, with the ballot box closing at 9:15 am. The Returning Officer and her team will count both the hand submitted ballots and the mail-in ballots that are received from around the province and the results of the preferential voting will be announced at 1:20 pm today.