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PG MLA’s share their thoughts on possible name change for BC Liberals

The BC Liberal Party could be changing its name.

A pair of MLA’s are back from the party’s convention in Penticton.

Prince George-Mackenzie representative Mike Morris told a review is underway because of the brand confusion the current name can create with its federal counterparts.

“Personally and my staff spends a lot of time explaining this to people. Particularly during an election cycle itself and a lot of people refer to federal politics more so than the provincial element here so I think rebranding will be a major step forward in trying to clarify that.”

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Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond added they are at the point where testing the waters is no longer an option.

“We agreed that it was time to engage in a process by the end of the year where there will be a potential name brought to the membership and ultimately our members will make that decision.”

Both agree that while fighting for northern residents is top of mind, reaching certain pockets of the population is vital given that many are struggling with rising food and fuel prices.

“What we are trying to do is rebuild ourselves to be that big-tent party that we always have been but we want it to be more inclusive of a whole bunch of British Columbians and I think a name change is a step in that direction,” added Morris.

“That is absolutely critical but as a party and across the province, we know that British Columbians right now are struggling with issues with affordability, a crisis in health care and we are looking at an opioid overdose situation, which is tragic,” said Bond.

However, Morris would like to see a name change done sooner than later due to specific political gamesmanship that can be played from time to time.

“We never know if the NDP are going to violate the election laws again and call an early or snap election right when we are in the middle of rebranding so we need to do it sooner than later.”

After a sixteen-year run in power (2001-2017) under Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark, the BC Liberals have found themselves playing the role of opposition.

Bond thinks the success they previously enjoyed wasn’t for a lack of effort, it had more to do with the party platform not falling in line with the current population base.

“The most important message is the one the voters send you. Across the province, it was clear our message at the time and our direction did not resonate with British Columbians. It doesn’t mean we didn’t work hard – in fact, we had one of the strongest economies in the country and the best job creation in Canada.”

“A lot of those measures showed how incredible hard work paid off for British Columbia, but somewhere residents felt we were not listening to them and they sent us that message at the ballot box.”

The next provincial election is set for 2024 as party leader Kevin Falcon looks to supplant John Horgan for the premier’s chair.

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