Bond Defends Liberal Decision to Expel Plecas
Prince George, B.C. – A Prince George MLA who is also on the BC Liberal Party Executive is defending the decision to revoke the membership of Abbotsford South MLA and Speaker of the Legislature Darryl Plecas.
The BC Liberals on Saturday passed a special resolution, at the request of the Abbotsford South Liberal Riding Association, to revoke Plecas’ membership in the party over what it feels was a broken trust created by his decision to accept the post of Speaker.
Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond tells 250 News that “as a member of the party Executive it’s a very difficult decision to ever make. But it came about as a result of the riding association requesting the party Executive approve that decision. Darryl’s riding association is very, very upset about the fact that they campaigned, they ran, they worked, they supported him. And basically he has stepped aside from that riding association.”
“The process in our party is that the riding association makes the decision to request that, and the Executive granted that request on the weekend.”
Is the issue that Plecas took the position of Speaker? “No it’s not at all about that,” says Bond “I think it’s about the fact that it was done without consultation in terms of his riding association. It came as a complete surprise, I’m told, to his president, that he had accepted that role.”
“I think it’s about standing up and looking your colleagues in the eye and saying “I want to be the Speaker and that’s what I intend to do”. “That is not at all how this unfolded. Darryl made the choice, and certainly it was my understanding right up until Friday morning, that he intended to continue as a member of the BC Liberal Party and the BC Liberal Caucus.”
“So it isn’t about the role of the Speaker, and I am very respectful of the role of the Speaker and intend to continue that practice. That is the way that I’ve served for 16 years in the Legislature. It’s about working with your colleagues, it’s about respecting the voters who sent you to Victoria. Darryl Plecas was sent to Victoria to represent the BC Liberal Party and his executive worked very hard on his behalf.”
Bond says “obviously there are very strong emotional views on both sides of this argument. From my perspective this is not about Darryl Plecas being the Speaker as much as it is about Darryl Plecas standing up and, with integrity, looking us in the eye and saying this is what I intend to do, and that did not happen.”
Asked whether Plecas did, as has been reported, promise that he would not take the position of Speaker Bond says “well, in fact, Mr Plecas’ comments, he himself said that it would be a dishonourable thing, those are his words, for him to step aside and to take that role and basically, in his words, be part of propping up an NDP government.”
“Those were his words, he said that it would be a dishonourable action, he made them publicly, he shared those views with us and in fact as recently as Thursday there was still a discussion about seating allocation in the legislature. So certainly from my perspective it was a surprise, it was a disappointment in that as a colleague who has supported Darryl and has worked alongside him.”
“And inside, parties are always going to have people who agree to disagree, that’s the way it works. But I think that if that’s the choice you’ve made then honour you colleagues and that relationship and your commitment to the voters in your constituency by standing up and letting them know that that was your intention. And that didn’t happen.”
Bond says “but he is now the Speaker of the Legislature, our job is to be respectful of that position and I intend to carry on my work. It obviously has changed the dynamics in the legislature, and we have our work cut out for us.”