When the BC Liberal Party launched its leadership race more than eight months ago, none of us knew it would be one of BC’s most challenging years ever. And undeniably, the effects of wildfires and floods, an ongoing overdose crisis, and a global pandemic have disrupted all of our lives.
But please take a moment to reflect with me on something else it became: this was also a year when BC saw the very best in itself.
As I enjoy a few days of downtime with my partner, Joy, and our two boys, Guy and Carmello, I’ll be remembering the resilience, resolve, and heart of British Columbians that was on full display in 2021. The world tuned in to see it.
Volunteers worked through the night to save the Barrowtown Pump Station, the Canadian Forces made daring rescues in Agassiz, and stories of simple but profound acts of kindness.
Despite washed out roads and broken bridges, we’ve never felt more connected to each other. The past several months of this leadership race has shown me that.
It has been an honour speaking with British Columbians all over the province about the bridge we will build to the future — for the party and for BC.
My team started out as a small but mighty crew of longtime BC Liberals, volunteers seeking a new political direction, and young people who want to help build something better.
I’m humbled by how much momentum has since built behind our vision of truly renewing this party. Longtime members, plus folks wanting to vote for the BC Liberal Party again, are all looking for fresh leadership and a new approach, which still honours the proud traditions of a party that has led the province for 16 of the past 20 years. They’re drawn to the idea of a political party that attracts new energy, because it is led by new energy.
British Columbians have met me, watched the debates, and can appreciate that I’ve been involved politics for 10 years — though not as a partisan. I’ve been standing up for small businesses and for communities around BC, not because I’m motivated by ideology but because I believe in people, and in the success we can build through connections and support.
I’m ready to retool the team, re-equip the grassroots, and reimagine the BC Liberal brand for the public.
In 2022, the party has an opportunity to choose something new. Not just a new leader, but a new way of doing politics and of driving results for the party and province. If you’re reading this, you already understand that wave of energy is coming.
It will arrive this February and perhaps surprise some who tried to call the race early. But our team sees the winning momentum in our polling, we hear it on every phone call, and feel it with quiet support, cheering and organizing behind the scenes.
So I hope you join me in taking a few moments to reflect on this past year. And then look ahead at the leadership race in 2022 leading into the next provincial election in 2024. Think of what kind of party we can become, what kind of province we can be, and who is best able to lead deep into our next chapter.
From my family to yours, wishing you a safe and joyful holiday season,