Statement from Kevin Falcon

May 24, 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. – BC United Leader Kevin Falcon released the following statement today following the conclusion of discussions between official representatives of both BC United and the BC Conservatives:

“Over the course of these talks, our only objective was to minimize the risk of vote splitting by prioritizing the good of the province over any personal or political interests. I appreciate the genuine good faith displayed by the BC Conservative officials who worked with us toward our common goal of acting in the best interests of British Columbia.

“Despite the common ground achieved during these meetings, last night John Rustad decided to reject a reasonable offer aimed at preventing a vote split, risking another four years of Eby’s NDP government that will further jeopardize the well-being of this province. In doing so, John Rustad placed his own ambition above the best interests of British Columbia.

“As British Columbians continue to ask John Rustad and myself on the campaign trail why we could not find common ground, I can confidently say that BC United did everything possible to secure a free enterprise, non-competition framework.

“Our BC United team remains focused on the upcoming election, presenting credible and accomplished candidates who are ready to govern, and offering a positive vision for the future of British Columbia.

“Before today, there were two officially sanctioned meetings in an attempt to explore cooperation between the two free enterprise parties in our province.

“The first meeting took place on May 2, 2024, in Vancouver between two BC United representatives, and two BC Conservative representatives. This meeting confirmed a mutual interest in exploring common ground, addressed misconceptions from unofficial representatives, and agreed on continuing negotiations in good faith.

“The second meeting occurred on May 22, 2024, in Vancouver between two BC United representatives, and two BC Conservative representatives.

“However, the resulting non-competition framework proposed by BC United was ultimately rejected by John Rustad, and despite an invitation to do so, no counter-proposal was offered.

“The non-competition framework was set out as follows:

  1. The parties will not merge. They are each responsible for their own leaders, fundraising and election campaigns.
  2. The parties agree not to attack one another over the course of the campaign.
  3. The parties will not run candidates against each other’s MLAs who are running for re-election. This is two BC Conservative seats and 15 BC United seats.
  4. The BC Conservatives will run 47 seats and BC United will run 46 because BC United has more incumbents to protect.
  5. The seats will be divided up between the parties in a draft format, whereby the BC Conservatives can each make three choices for each one that BC United makes until each party has picked the same number of ridings (including incumbents). From that point, the parties will alternate choices until the agreed-upon total number of seats for each party is reached.
  6. If the combined seat total in the election exceeds the NDP the parties agree to form a coalition government. The Premier will be the party leader that won more seats, while the party leader that wins the smaller number of seats will be the Deputy Premier and hold a senior ministerial portfolio. Cabinet seats would be allocated in proportion to the number of seats held by each party.”

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