BC Liberal leadership hopefuls square off in final debate

0
170
VANCOUVER. January 23 2018. L-R. Todd Stone, Michael Lee, Andrew Wilkinson, Dianne Watts, Sam Sullivan, and Michael de Jong, candidates running for the leadership of the BC Liberal party debate at the Weston Bayshore Vancouver, January 23 2018. Gerry Kahrmann / PNG staff photo) ( For Prov / Sun News ) 00052113A [PNG Merlin Archive]
 Todd Stone, Michael Lee, Andrew Wilkinson, Dianne Watts, Sam Sullivan, and Michael de Jong, candidates running for the leadership of the BC Liberal party debate last week.
Knives were out Tuesday night at the final BC Liberal leadership debate as candidates made last-ditch bids for the chance to defeat Premier John Horgan. With less than two weeks until 60,000 Liberal party members cast ballots to select a new leader, hundreds packed into the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver to cheer and jeer for the six candidates as they traded barbs over their platforms, experience and commitment to the party. Vying for the leadership are Dianne Watts, the popular former Conservative MP and Surrey mayor, and current Liberal MLAs Michael Lee, Todd Stone, Andrew Wilkinson, Mike de Jong and Sam Sullivan. About 20 minutes into their fifth and final night of debate — following opening questions from moderator Keith Baldrey of Global B.C. and when candidates were first given the chance to question each other — the dog pile on Watts began.
Wilkinson went first, accusing her of a “lack of specificity” in her platform and calling on her to list five things that the party needed to get done in February. Watts offered no such list, instead saying that any work would have to be a “team effort.” L-R. Todd Stone and Andrew Wilkinson shake hands as Dianne Watts walks past after the BC Liberal leadership debate .
Watts later fumbled when de Jong asked her a pointed question about softwood lumber, accusing de Jong of playing “gotcha politics” by asking about a file on which he is an expert and she is not. Todd Stone challenged Watts on her commitment to the party, asking her to pledge to seek a seat in the legislature, fight proportional representation and support the Liberals in the next election. “I’m committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that the NDP and Greens do not continue,” Watts said.
Wilkinson then piled on Watts about crime in Surrey, accusing her of having nothing of substance on the issue in her platform, while Watts said she knew through her work as mayor about the importance of addressing root causes through supportive housing and addiction treatment. “This is an affront to British Columbians, what you just said, and it’s absolutely wrong,” Watts shot back.
Michael Lee makes a point at the BC Liberal party debate.

LEAVE A REPLY