By David F. Rooney
George Abbott, the man who could well be the next premier of BC, will be here on Wednesday as he makes a last pitch for support before Saturday’s BC Liberal leadership vote.
He will be speaking at the Riverside Landing Restaurant at the Revelstoke Golf Course on Wednesday evening at 7 pm.
What should make his visit here of particular interest to Revelstokians is the fact that, as a life-long resident of Sicamous, he is practically one of us. Abbott is generally regarded as a moderate within the BC Liberal spectrum who works at understanding the issues. He believes consensus achieves better results than confrontation but he is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with opponents.
Browse through his website and you’ll find information about his platform:
- Leadership — British Columbians want to participate in and be involved in the decisions that affect their quality of life. They want to be a part of how government makes their decisions, and that is just as important to people as what those decisions are. That means seeking out new and innovative ways to allow the people of British Columbian to participate in important decisions before they are made. That means introducing measures that will enhance trust and transparency in the day-to-day decisions of government. And that means empowering the role and accountability of elected representatives to truly stand up for their constituents. That is what a new style of leadership is all about.
- Economic Action Plan — The key to a successful economy is to create a strong, free-enterprise environment that capitalizes on the diversity of our province and empowers the private sector to create jobs and grow wages. That means keeping taxes on our families and job-creating businesses low and competitive, balanced with the need to invest in core services and pay down our debt. It also means creating an environment of certainty, stability and trust for investors, businesses and citizens when government makes important economic decisions, and ensuring those decisions aim to support all participants in our economy.
- Families — A strong economy is only a value when it is coupled with an understanding that families form the foundation of our communities. But families today also face challenges in meeting the everyday needs of their kids — whether it be in providing the basics such as a good home, providing their kids with opportunities for personal development and growth, or ensuring that their kids safe from gang activity.
Certainly, Abbott is the only one of the four leadership hopefuls who is from the Interior. And he has more in-caucus support than any of the other candidates — none of whom bothered to come here.
Abbott will be visiting Revelstoke with Dr. Moira Stilwell and Ed Mayne, two former leadership candidates who have thrown their support behind Abbott. Stilwell was here earlier this year and made a pitch for local support promising to spend $10 million to establish an avalanche and search-and-rescue research and training centre in Revelstoke.
Abbott’s visit — his second of the campaign — has excited local BC Liberal party members who hope for a good turnout .
“I’m very excited at the prospect of having someone from our area possibly becoming the next premier of British Columbia,” said local Liberal Merv Krywa.
Peter Bernacki, another Liberal, agreed but noted that Abbott can only be elevated to the leadership if Liberals actively support him.
“We need all the votes we can get to elect George,” he said.
Party members will vote for their new leader on Saturday February 26 from 5 am to 5 pm.
The other candidates are Christy Clark, Kevin Falcon and Mike de Jong — all of them from the Lower Mainland.
Liberals can vote online or by phone using a personalized PIN number. They must have their PINs by February 23. For details go to http://www.bcliberals.com.