Andrew Wilkinson joins BC Liberal leadership race

WATCH: There are now five candidates for the leadership of the B.C. Liberals and more to come. Keith Baldrey reports.

BC Liberal MLA and former minister Andrew Wilkinson is in downtown Vancouver this hour officially announcing his run for the leadership of the party.

Wilkinson is said to have a strong backing by leaders in rural B.C., and was flanked by six fellow MLAs as he made his announcement.

Potential candidate and former Transportation Minister Todd Stone wasn’t among them.

Wilkinson, touching on Stone’s pledge to refuse taxpayer subsidies contained in the NDP’s corporate and union donation ban, refused to make the same commitment, sketching out what may already be a key policy difference.

“I think we’re going to have to see what the landscape is once this legislation is through, but what we’re hoping for is that there’s a sufficient groundswell in the public — and the media have been very good about this — pointing out that there’s something intrinsically wrong with telling people that they have to give to a party they have no interest in supporting.”

Wilkinson isn’t the only one expected to throw his hat in the ring on Monday.

BC Liberal leadership race: candidates, dates and spending details

Former Education Minister Mike Bernier is also anticipated to announce his candidacy Monday afternoon.

Another MLA, Michael Lee, is expected to announce his run tomorrow.

Former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan, former Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and Terrace businesswoman Lucy Sager have already declared their candidacy.

The BC Liberals will vote for their new leader by online and telephone vote from Feb. 1-3.


© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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