Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad will now stand as an Independent in the BC Legislature.
The longtime representative was booted out of the BC Liberal caucus today (Thursday) by party leader Kevin Falcon after a social media post related to climate change was visible on his pages.
No net warming in Australia for the past 10 years. And the Great Barrier Reef has more coral cover this year than ever recorded. The case for CO2 being the control knob of global temperature gets weaker every day. #CelebrateCO2!!https://t.co/x3loEktjVo https://t.co/7TERLoKur9
— Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) August 15, 2022
In an interview with Vista Radio Rustad stated he has no hard feelings towards the Liberals, but he remains of the opinion that some of the climate policies in place are doing more harm than good.
“I think it’s the job of an MLA to stand up and represent issues, particular issues that you see are just wrong in society that need to be raised and need to be talked about.”
“The new policies that are being brought in are going to reduce the amount of food we produce as well as the number of cattle we have in our industry. I think it is absolutely wrong for these elites to be implementing policies that are intentionally hurting people.”
Rustad is keeping his political options open once this term wraps up.
“I worked under two premiers (with the BC Liberals) doing the best I can for our team as well as for our province. I’ve worked with a lot of my colleagues in opposition for the last five years and I don’t have any ill feelings towards the leader or the party,” added Rustad.
However, Rustad believes his departure from the Liberals will likely put a damper on his working relationship with PG MLA’s Mike Morris and Shirley Bond.
“We haven’t always seen eye-to-eye on issues but I have a lot of respect for them. I know this will create some difficulties for them and for my other colleagues. For that, I do apologize but I think it is the right thing for a politician to be able to stand up and say enough is enough,”
Rustad previously served as Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and as Parliamentary Secretary for Forestry.
He was the Liberal’s forestry critic, a role that will now be taken over by House Leader and Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone.
Rustad has been an elected politician since 2005.