DELANEY RESIGNS FROM BC CONSERVATIVES OVER DISAGREEMENT WITH PARTY DIRECTIONAccepts position with new BC First Party as official spokesperson
Fight HST lead organizer and former Deputy Leader of the BC Conservative Party, Chris Delaney, has resigned as a member of the BC Conservatives, slamming the party’s Board of Directors over the party’s policy direction and its position on the HST.
“The BC Conservative Party is positioning itself to become the new BC Liberal Party, only with a different name. Everyone in BC knows the Liberals are finished, but rather than providing an agenda for real change, the Conservatives think a fresh coat of paint on a soiled Liberal brand is the way to power,” said Delaney.
Delaney says the BC Conservatives’ waffling on the HST had begun to put him in an awkward position in his fight against the tax. “It has come to the point where to continue to support the BC Conservatives would compromise my integrity in the fight against the HST,” said Delaney.
“The HST is a seminal issue that transcends the tax itself, and represents the discontent among voters with the extreme right wing corporatism of the BC Liberals and their anti-democratic approach to government. The BC Conservative’s deliberate attempt to ignore this is a critical mistake.”
Delaney says he has accepted the position of party spokesperson for the new BC First party because it represents a chance to truly change the system.
“I am excited about the prospects for this party. Everywhere I have been in BC in the last year, including most major communities, people have said the same thing – we need a new party, a real common sense alternative owned by the people. I believe BC First is that alternative.”
Former BC premier and Fight HST Leader, Bill Vander Zalm, says he supports Mr. Delaney’s decision. “Chris is a very close friend. Working with him on the Fight HST campaign I have seen just how smart, strong and capable of a leader he is. I know he will do a terrific job of inspiring British Columbians to join in and build a credible alternative for BC.”
Vander Zalm said he will continue to lead the Fight HST forces in the months ahead in a non-partisan capacity.
Delaney says he has agreed to help Mr. Vander Zalm with strategy and communications on the HST fight, but will hand over the duties for Recall to Anton Kuipers, allowing him more time to focus on BC First.
“The events that have led up to this moment are quite extraordinary. While I was out fighting to end the HST my former party, the BC Conservatives, were busy trying to find ways to keep it, or some version of it. While the Liberals were imploding, the NDP were dropping the ball at every turn. While the government continues to try to bully, threaten, and intimidate voters into accepting their hated tax, the voters have stood firm and resolute in their resistance,” said Delaney.
“History is repeating itself in a manner similar to the sweep to power of the Social Credit Party back in 1952. This time the movement is for democracy and a party that will stand for the people against the big corporate interests of the Liberals, the big labour interests of the NDP, and the establishment party interests in Ottawa of the BC Conservatives.”
Delaney says he is inviting all British Columbians to go to the party’s web site at: www.bcfirst.ca
and join with him to build a common sense, centrist party for the people.
“We need everyone to participate, especially those people who had given up on the system and even quit voting altogether. This is your chance. This opportunity may never come along again in our lifetimes. We must seize it and take our province back,” Delaney concluded.
Following is the statement by Delaney announcing his resignation: Statement on BC First
By Chris Delaney
I am announcing my resignation today from the BC Conservative Party effective immediately.
The Fight HST campaign has brought out the best in people, but also the worst. While I have spent this past year working to get rid of the HST, the BC Conservative Party has spent its time trying to find ways to keep it.
They have systematically, and without permission from their membership, removed the founding principles from their Party Constitution.
They have stacked the party’s board of directors with appointed members instead of electing them. Appointees who are favourable to the HST, favourable to their federal counterparts at the expense of BC, and favourable to the same policies and backroom practices as the BC Liberal Party.
They have been trying to capitalize on the discontent of voters with the BC Liberals by pretending to be anti-HST, while maneuvering behind the scenes to support it, or at least a version of it.
At the party’s recent policy convention in May, a motion was put forward to abolish the HST. Federal MP John Cummins opposed this motion, and used his influence to persuade the delegates there to “defer” that motion to the AGM in October. Many, if not most of the delegates there had been canvassers, organizers or supporters of the Fight HST campaign. This was a mistake.
Efforts to reach out to the party to correct this were met with derision, manipulation, and outright hostility, resulting in the resignation of senior members of the party.
Now, the party has put the nail in its coffin by refusing to abide by its membership and introduce the motion to defeat the HST at the party’s upcoming AGM.
They have become a party more interested in creating alliances with Ottawa and members of the BC Liberals than in creating an alliance with the people.
Whether deliberately or unwittingly, they are simply re-creating the BC Liberal Party under a different name.
I want no part of that.
I have decided to join the new BC First Party. I have been asked by Sal Vetro, the founder of BC First, to accept the position of party spokesman and I have accepted. This position will allow me to help build this new party by promoting its message of BC first, grassroots, democratic renewal.
BC First is a movement as much as it is a party. It is a movement to take back our province from the self serving interests who want to take our resources at the expense of British Columbians, rather than to our benefit.
It is a movement to take back our government from the establishment elites who are using the BC Liberal Party and now the BC Conservatives to advance the agenda of the elites and the big corporations, rather than the people.
It is a movement to take back our democracy from the extreme right wing corporatism of the BC Liberals, and the creeping dictatorship that the fight against the HST has exposed for to all to see.
Everywhere I go, people tell me – Chris – we need a third party. We need something other than Liberals or NDP. We need an alternative.
BC First is that alternative.
I have discussed my decision with Fight HST Leader Bill Vander Zalm and promised that I would continue to help the cause, particularly with strategy and media relations.
Bill was extremely supportive, and said that while he would not join any party until after the HST fight was finished, he fully endorsed my decision and believes a third party is needed in BC, given the failure of the others to address the real concerns of British Columbians with respect to the HST and democracy.
He expressed his regrets at losing my full time involvement but has promised to carry on as aggressively as before. Anton Kuipers is assuming a number of my administrative responsibilities on the Recall file which will free me up to spend time with BC First.
I am asking all those who have supported my fight against the HST, and all those who want to end the destruction to our democracy, to join with me to rebuild it with BC First.
I am asking everyone in BC who loves this province as much as I do to go to our website at www.bcfirst.ca and take a membership. To join me in building a real alternative for BC that is totally opposed to the HST and that is owned by British Columbians, for British Columbians.
To build a party committed to a competitive business environment, fair taxes and common sense laws, and whose only allegiance is to our people.
This is a rare moment in the history of BC. Indeed, in the history of Canada. A moment where the people have finally realized not only the problems we face, but that together we can fix them. This moment may never come again in our lifetimes. We must seize it.
We must end the stranglehold in BC of the big interests, be they big corporations or big unions.
We must end the polarization that works for political parties, but works against us.
We must rebuild our democracy and our prosperity by building a people’s alternative that will end the politics of self interest, and put BC first.
I ask you to help me.