This week I was honoured to participate in a virtual all-candidates event for BC Liberal Party members in the Vancouver region.
This was the first event to feature all candidates in front of the same audience.
I think the question a lot of people were looking to hear more about was “who is this outsider, and why is he vying for the leadership of our party?”
The next question is…
“Why am I an outsider to begin with?”
I’ve had a diverse career ranging from health care to public policy work, but I come from the world of entrepreneurship, the world of business and balance sheets.
Success in the business world is simple: You connect products or services with folks willing to pay their hard-earned money for them.
If your idea doesn’t connect with an audience, then your business fails.
Right now, the audience for the BC Liberal Party is shrinking. That’s why the party base wants serious renewal.
Over many conversations the past months I’ve learned this:
THAT audience wants to be found.
They want to participate.
They want us to step up!
So – again – why am I an outsider?
Let’s look at the three audiences my campaign is focused in on:
The first is business
I come from the BC Chamber of Commerce but my entire career has been a model of service leadership designed to connect people with the resources they need to thrive.
Tens of thousands of entrepreneurs have looked to the Chamber network in BC to connect their business with other British Columbians and markets.
I know how to talk to BC’s business community.
And I will let you in on a secret when talking to businesses in BC: Stop thinking we have them in our back pocket. Stop thinking that they probably vote BC Liberal.
The world is more complicated in 2021.
The business community wants to succeed and have government on their side – but they also understand that the pandemic, climate change, and affordable housing are driving a new economic reality.
Childcare used to be seen as a social issue – now it’s become a business issue.
Perspectives and realities are changing.
The second audience is women
Women elect governments in Canada. When we lose sight of what women value, we lose the ability to form government.
It is far too simplistic to suggest that women care more about health care, education, and social issues than men.
Instead, we need to dig into how the issues of health care, education, and other social realities affect women.
Because it is disproportionate. This pandemic is affecting women totally differently than men.
But women are BC’s secret weapon. The data shows us they build more resilient, inclusive, and profitable businesses …so we need to empower women and work together to knock down the barriers in their way.
And we have a childcare challenge in BC.
Why? Because when a pandemic hits, the people forced to bear the burden of childcare are women. And this ripples through our economy like a hot knife through butter causing a MASSIVE economic challenge that’s proving to be way bigger than we ever expected.
We need to reach out and listen more closely to women – and other underrepresented audiences – if we are going to form government.
Which brings me to the final audience: youth.
To me, anyone under 40 is a young voter. 61% of British Columbians are under the age of 40.
If we are going to succeed, we cannot rely on the 39% that built the party. Do we need their wisdom and experience? YES, of course we do!
But just like a family business, we must look to the next generations to take what this party has built and run with it into the future.
Young people are demanding answers on the economic implications of housing, of climate change, of health care.
They want to see their future in the communities they grew up in. They are demanding more of the BC Liberal Party than we have chosen to invest historically. They want progress on Indigenous reconciliation, compassionate care for their parents, and for governments to tackle social challenges with new ideas and energy.
And that is why I’m running.
That is why I am NOT an outsider.
I am bringing the new, emerging perspective to the party that will help us meet the moment – and free us from our past.
Let’s not go into another election where we’re dragged down by the past. Let’s spring forward into 2024 and beyond.
We must embrace this chance – and the responsibility to lead.
We must not fall into a trap that suggests a NAME change is a BRAND change.
Support what’s next.
Support true renewal.
Get started by reaching out with your thoughts.
I want to hear from you, work with you, and build toward 2024 together.