John Cummins gives his address at the BC Conservatives AGM

John Cummins gives his address at the BC Conservatives AGM

Cummins not surprised at Van Dongen departure

"If it hadn't been today, it would have been in the coming weeks," said John Cummins.

John Cummins wasn’t surprised that the BC Conservative Party’s lone MLA, former Liberal John Van Dongen, left the party following the decision by 71 per cent of voting members not to review Cummins’ leadership.

“If it hadn’t been today, it would have been in the coming weeks,” Cummins told The Times Saturday afternoon, as the party’s annual general meeting wrapped up at Langley Events Centre.

“Mr. Van Dongen hasn’t been happy with the state of affairs. He hadn’t endorsed my leadership. He had trouble working with the leadership of the BC Liberals, and now with the BC Conservatives.”

Van Dongen outlines reasons for split – see separate story

Despite the Van Dongen split, which attracted a great deal of media attention, Cummins feels the party is on a steady course towards the provincial election in May, 2013. He said the new board, which will be headed by Cummins’ supporter Al Siebring, a North Cowichan councillor, will work closely with members to prepare to contest elections in seats across the province.

The party has organized constituency associations in most B.C. ridings and has an active presence in many communities. It is setting up a provincial office in Langley City and Cummins said the new, smaller board will be a more cohesive group that will focus on the election.

Ever the optimist, he said the Conservatives, who barely registered in polling two years ago, can win government in the next election.

“In this business, you don’t aim for second,” the former Conservative MP for Delta said. “We are aiming for first place.”

Seibring is happy with the new board elected by the delegates. Most were part of his A Team group that backed Cummins’ leadership. He said group initially came together to have an effective board, but publicly came out to back Cummins after a group of dissidents within the party, who ran a slate known as the Friends of the BC Conservatives, made it their aim to have a leadership review.

“We will now need to build capacity in the party, build organizational charts and prepare for the campaign,” he said.

Siebring was also pleased with the results of the leadership review vote, pointing out that 1,104 of about 3,000 members voted. He sees the endorsement as being even higher than 71 per cent, saying often those who don’t vote are satisfied with the status quo.

 

Just Posted

.
Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

poster
Drop-in Covid vaccine clinic in Mission June 17-18

Neighbourhood clinics complement appointment-based clinics currently operating in Mission

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read