Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for 2nd run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces on the same day

Former B.C. finance minister Kevin Falcon is set to make his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership official Monday evening, with a Facebook live event that has been previewed on social media for the past week.

A teaser campaign on Twitter started with “Ready?” then “Set…” then “Let’s Go,” a video featuring an invitation from former Surrey mayor and MP Dianne Watts to join the virtual event at 7 p.m. May 17. Watts was narrowly defeated by Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson for the leadership that followed the Clark’s defeat and resignation when the B.C. Greens supported John Horgan’s minority NDP government in 2017.

Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee, another contestant in the 2017 leadership, announced his intentions Monday with a “ready to run” jogging video on Twitter.

Falcon is the third declared candidate, and Lee the fourth, along with Skeena MLA Ellis Ross and Vancouver business consultant and long-time party member Gavin Dew, with a party vote set to take place in February 2022. A long-time resident and MLA for Surrey, Falcon seeks to lead a party that lost seats in the Fraser Valley in the snap election in October 2020.

RELATED: Dew joins Ellis Ross in B.C. Liberal leadership contest

RELATED: How does British Columbia Party sound for 2022?

NDP members immediately gave Falcon the front-runner treatment. “Yesterday’s leader, yesterday’s party. Even yesterday’s branding!” Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon tweeted in response to the Falcon promotions.

Falcon placed second to Christy Clark in the 2011 leadership contest to succeed Gordon Campbell. He went on to serve as finance minister and deputy premier during the wind-up of the harmonized sales tax before leaving politics in advance of the scheduled 2013 election. That election saw Clark form a fourth straight majority B.C. Liberal government, in what was seen as an upset over then-NDP leader Adrian Dix.

The defeat of the HST in a province-wide referendum forced the B.C. Liberal government to revert to the seven per cent provincial sales tax and repay a $1.6 billion transition fund that the federal government provided as an incentive to join the harmonized tax program.

The province booked the repayment as a cost for the 2011-12 fiscal year, pushing the provincial operating deficit up to about $3 billion for that year. The deficit was eliminated before the 2013 election, after the 2009-10 banking crisis and recession.

Falcon was first elected MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale in the B.C. Liberal sweep of 2001. His first cabinet post was minister of state for deregulation, and he served as minister of health and transportation before moving to finance in March 2011.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politics

Just Posted

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

The City of Salmon Arm’s freshly painted Chevrolet van was ready to begin its mobile visitor centre duties on June 18, 2021. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Eye-catching van to spread word of what’s great about Salmon Arm

Mobile outreach is one component of the city’s new visitor service strategy

Carver Bara winds up to throw a pitch at his June 14 game. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
PHOTOS: 15 and under baseballers step up to bat

A June 14 Salmon Arm minor baseball game resulted in action-packed moments

Nash Bredick and Ian Calkins enjoying a ride at a previous Salmon Arm fall fair. (Cameron Thomson - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm fair returns for 2021

Fair takes place Sept. 10-12 and features midway, vendors and special events

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read