Dan Brooks (left) campaigns in Salmon Arm for the leadership of the B.C. Conservatives.

Brooks defeats B.C. Conservative ‘old guard’

Dan Brooks wants permanent settlement of aboriginal land claims, sale of Crown lands to stimulate economy

Dan Brooks says his election to replace John Cummins as leader of the B.C. Conservative Party represents a break from the “old guard” and a new era of stability for a party mainly known for in-fighting.

Brooks, 38, took 62% of the approximately 1,150 party members who voted. He defeated Rick Peterson, a 59-year-old investment banker who was endorsed by Cummins.

“It was a great blessing to me when John Cummins and that crew endorsed Rick,” Brooks said Monday. “At that very moment, quite frankly, I thought ‘I’ve just won this.’ And I think they misjudged the depth of feeling in the party.”

A former guide-outfitter, Brooks handed over his resort business near Vanderhoof to a partner and relocated to Kamloops to pursue his political career. He hopes to appeal to urban voters by emphasizing the steep increase in B.C.’s debt in the Christy Clark era of B.C. Liberal rule.

Brooks agrees with Clark’s emphasis on liquefied natural gas development, but says there is a “myopic” focus on one strategy while problems continue in forestry, mining and regions outside the north.

Brooks opposes revenue sharing agreements with aboriginal groups, which the B.C. Liberal government has extended from forests to mining and most recently to LNG development.

“I think we have to resolve land claims definitely, not this indefinite accommodate and consult that really just perpetuates this uncertainty problem that we face,” Brooks said. “I know a lot of Conservatives don’t share this view, but I personally don’t have a problem with settling land claims by giving First Nations land.”

The government’s proposal to divide the agricultural land reserve into two zones is a good step, but it doesn’t go far enough, Brooks said. The provincial economy suffers with 95% of all land owned by the province.

“Imagine if you opened that up and started selling public land to private individuals, settled land claims with first nations by giving them some land, imagine what it would do for our economy?” Brooks said.

 

Just Posted

Alberni Valley Blazers win double gold in girls’ softball

U16 and U14 girls win their respective provincial championships

Ottawa singer songwriter Victor Nesrallah plays Char’s Landing July 22

VIA Rail’s latest ‘artist on board’ takes first Vancouver Island tour

Green housing project sparks interest in Port Alberni

Maitland Street multi-family residence raises bar on affordability

Port Alberni ponders adding office spaces to Harbour Quay

Waterfront space is currently zoned for retail and tourism

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

VIDEO: Sproat Lake hosts annual regatta

2018 Alberni Valley event featured two days of boat racing action

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read