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Abbotsford South MLA Bruce Banman leaving BC United to join Conservatives

Click to play video: 'BC United M.L.A. defects to Conservative party'
BC United M.L.A. defects to Conservative party
WATCH: Abbotsford South M.L.A. Bruce Banman has left BC United and crossed the floor to join the Conservative Party of B.C. Richard Zussman reports – Sep 13, 2023

A shift in allegiance has been announced by B.C. MLA Bruce Banman, as he has left the BC United Party.

Banman, the MLA for Abbotsford South, announced on Wednesday he is joining the Conservative Party of British Columbia.

“When I was elected MLA for Abbotsford South, I promised to bring the concerns of everyday hardworking people and families to the forefront in British Columbia’s Legislature in Victoria,” he said in a release.

“After careful consideration, I have made the decision to join the Conservative Party of British Columbia to keep that promise to my community and my constituents.”

Banman said his views as a conservative have led him to the decision and looks forward to speaking “honestly and openly” on behalf of his constituents.

“We don’t support Trudeau-backed policies like the punishing carbon tax that hurts everyday people. We refuse to condone the ideological NDP education agenda that teaches students what to think instead of how to think. And we will never support the myth of safe supply that kills British Columbians and poisons our communities with hard drugs,” he said.

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“I believe B.C. needs a leader who is a straight up, decent human being — and a party that’s willing to put politics aside to stand for what’s right.”

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With Banman’s defection, the B.C. Conservatives now have two MLAs in the legislature, meaning they will have official party status giving them spots on legislative committees and more opportunities to weigh in during question period. Banman voiced his support for Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad, the other MLA in the Conservative Party of British Columbia.

Click to play video: 'NDP MLA fights off deer from attacking dog'
NDP MLA fights off deer from attacking dog

Banman won his election in Abbotsford South in 2020 as part of the BC Liberals, the former name of BC United. Banman was Abbotsford’s mayor from 2011 to 2014 and, more recently, a city councillor before the election. He won earning more than 44.7 per cent of the vote with the runner-up, Inder Johal, receiving 35.4 per cent.

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The next provincial election in B.C. is scheduled for October 19, 2024, under the province’s fixed-election law.

Premier David Eby has previously suggested he had no interest in deviating from that date.

“I’ve been across this province, I’ve talked to a lot of people, they’re concerned about healthcare, they’re concerned about issues related to public safety, cost of living and making sure our economy is strong through a downturn, issues of housing, they want the government to take action, and they’ve not said to me that they want an election,” Eby said.

Eby said the BC NDP government continues to work on those priorities for British Columbians to “deliver for them and then we have a fixed election date” where they’ll have the opportunity to weigh in on how we’ve done.”

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