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B.C. Conservatives looking for leader

Dan Brooks is resigning as B.C. Conservative leader as of Feb. 20. - Tom Fletcher/Black Press
Dan Brooks is resigning as B.C. Conservative leader as of Feb. 20.
— image credit: Tom Fletcher/Black Press

Dan Brooks has announced his resignation as B.C. Conservative leader, with no successor in sight.

Brooks issued a statement Monday saying he is refocusing on his family and business after serving as "volunteer leader" of the troubled party since April 2014. The party holds its annual general meeting in Richmond Feb. 20, where Brooks will officially step down.

Brooks toured B.C. in November, speaking confidently about candidate recruitment for the 2017 B.C. election and the need for an alternative to the B.C. Liberals and the NDP.

Brooks, who runs a guide outfitting business near Vanderhoof, was one of the party directors who expelled or censured 15 party members after they tried to oust former leader John Cummins in 2012. He took over from Cummins after the 2013 election that saw the B.C. Liberals re-elected under Premier Christy Clark despite the harmonized sales tax debacle she inherited.

The B.C. Conservatives were briefly represented in the B.C. legislature in 2012 after Cummins, a long-time Reform and Conservative MP, assisted in the defection of Abbotsford South MLA John van Dongen from the B.C. Liberal Party. But van Dongen would soon resign from that party as well, sitting as an independent until he was ousted in 2013 by B.C. Liberal Darryl Plecas.

Clark is preparing to call two by-elections for seats left vacant after the October federal vote, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. Former NDP MLA Jenny Kwan was elected MP in the party's Vancouver East stronghold, and former B.C. Liberal Douglas Horne lost to Liberal Ron McKinnon in the federal riding of Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam.

 

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