BC Liberal MLA Michael Lee joins party leadership race

Business lawyer and new MLA Michael Lee is the latest entrant to the BC Liberal leadership race. Jeremy Lye / CKNW

Michael Lee is hoping to be second time lucky.

The two-term MLA for Vancouver-Langara is running again to be the leader of the BC Liberal Party. Lee finished third behind eventual winner Andrew Wilkinson and former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts in the 2018 BC Liberal leadership race.

“I want to lead the rebuild of our province and our party to ensure we have bold plans and actions to reset the course for British Columbia to ensure we have a strong foundation for generations to come,” Lee said.

“We need to ensure we restore trust with British Columbians. I know many have lost the trust with our party.”

The BC Liberals won 28 seats in the 2020 election, the fewest since the 1991 election for the party.

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Lee was one of the few BC Liberals to hang on to their seat in Metro Vancouver, winning one of the closest races in the province.

There are now four candidates in the race: Gavin Dew, Ellis Ross, Kevin Falcon and Lee

Health critic Renee Merrifield is expected to announce soon whether she is joining the race.

As for what issues Lee will be focusing on, he said there will be a lot of time before the February 2022 leadership race to discuss specific policy issues.

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Kevin Falcon launches bid for BC Liberal leadership – May 17, 2021

“What is most import first is to restore the trust. I want to make sure the values I have of accountability, transparency, responsibility and compassion do resonate with members of our party and British Columbians — and if they do, I can broaden our base of appeal,” Lee said.

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“I have demonstrated the ability, against the trend of the BC Liberal Party, to step forward and regain the confidence of people’s votes in this riding and this area.”

Lee served as the justice critic under leader Andrew Wilkinson.

When asked how he would differentiate himself from Falcon, the front runner, he would not offer any specifics.

“I hope we have a deep debate and a broad way to appeal to members and people who want to consider our party again,” Lee said.

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