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B.C. Conservatives recruit another B.C. United defector

Former District of Sechelt councillor Chris Moore flips parties in Sunshine Coast race
Former District of Sechelt councillor Chris Moore, who was running for B.C. United, Wednesday (June 19), says he is running for the Conservative Party of B.C. under Leader John Rustad

B.C. United continues to lose personnel, but a candidate who just defected to the Conservative Party of B.C. does not rule out working with his former party again. 

Former District of Sechelt councillor Chris Moore announced Wednesday (June 19) that he would be running for the Conservatives rather than B.C. United in the Powell River-Sunshine Coast riding because he did not like the communication strategy of B.C. United under Leader Kevin Falcon. 

"He was sorry to see me to go," Moore said, when asked about Falcon's reaction. Moore also said that he apologized to Falcon for the "disruption"  and expressed the hope to keep lines of communication open.

"(You) know, politics makes strange bed-fellows," Moore said. "I mean, it could be that there is a coalition at some point, may be not."

Moore said he did not like B.C. United's thrust to attack Conservative candidates as extreme.

"I didn't like it and I didn't support," he said. "(This) was fundamental in me making that decision to come over." 

Moore stressed that he liked Falcon personally and blamed people around him. Moore said he does not believe Conservatives have extremist candidates among their ranks. Moore said he would never join a party with extremists, adding that he had raised his concerns about B.C. United's strategy before leaving.

"We (B.C. United and Conservatives) overlap," he said. "We all came from the same platform and yet here we are having a fight, where our opponent is watching with glee." 

That opponent is the B.C. NDP, which has held the riding since 2005, when voters elected incumbent Nicholas Simons. While Simons is not running for re-election, the B.C. NDP has nominated former Global BC anchor Randene Neill to run in the riding. 

Moore also expressed support for the Conservative platform itself.

"I had to leave (B.C. United) because it just resonated deeply with me," he said. 

Moore's departure is the latest in a series of personnel losses for B.C. United. Puneet Sandhar, who co-chaired Falcon's leadership campaign, this week withdrew her candidacy in the riding of Surrey-Serpentine River, citing the "recent passing" of a close family member. B.C. United had announced Sandhar as its first candidate on July 2023 and Falcon had pointed to her as evidence of the quality of candidates running for the party.  

Last week, Falcon dumped Asad Gondal, President of the B.C. Muslim Association, for comments about Gaza and LGBTQIA2S+ after having hailed Gondal as a "transformative" candidate.

Finally, B.C. United lost two sitting MLAs — Lorne Doerkson and Elenore Sturko — to the Conservatives. Their departures raised the spectre of other sitting MLAs following.

While Rustad's speech touched on a range of issues, Moore's election under a new banner will depend in part on the fallout from the provincial government's dock management plan announced last fall. Residents with waterfront properties in the riding expressed concern that it would limit their access. Government has since tried to smooth out the waves by making changes.

Rustad framed the issue as a question of property rights that need to be protected.

Moore said the dock management is one of the reasons why an "overwhelming number of people that want to change horses" in the riding.

"This was fundamentally going to change lifestyles and lives big time by taking and changing how they use their property."

Moore, however, added that this is not the only issue on which he will campaign. Other issues include affordability, public safety, health, amendments to the Land Act, he said. 


Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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