‘A lot of the problems we are dealing with in Surrey are the results of the way Dianne Watts ran Surrey’
BY RATTAN MALL
FORMER solicitor general Kash Heed on Thursday warned the BC Liberal Party to bring in a leader who is “going to come in with fresh, new ideas, a breath of fresh air, that is going to retool the entire Liberal Party, not more of the same.”
He told The VOICE: “Of the names that have been put forward and the rhetoric that you are hearing from [interim party leader] Rich Coleman, I have not seen one name that stands above the rest as someone that could bring change to the Liberal Party.”
He added: “What you are going to see is more of the same and that’s the disappointing part of it. They are not going to get anyone that’s going to recognize those traditional values in the party but at the same time bring in change.”
Coleman had earlier this week named MLAs Mike Bernier, Todd Stone, Mike de Jong, Andrew Wilkinson, Sam Sullivan and Michael Lee as well as MP Dianne Watts, former mayor of Surrey, as those likely to enter the leadership race.
Wilkinson and Watts are expected to announce their leadership bid this weekend.
But on Thursday evening, Sam Sullivan, former mayor of Vancouver, became the first to announce his leadership bid.
Heed did not think that Watts was the right person for the job.
He said: “A lot of the problems we are dealing with in Surrey are the results of the way Dianne Watts ran Surrey. She accomplished some great things in Surrey, but look at some of the other issues in Surrey and look at the social issues that we are dealing with in Surrey right now!”
Heed said: “The problem is whoever the Liberals put in place, you’ve got to recognize they need to change. If they do more of the same whether it’s with Andrew Wilkinson or whether it’s with Dianne Watts or whether it’s with Michael Lee or someone else, they have kind of put themselves as being just another Liberal candidate that has been embracing the past.”
Heed pointed out: “The problem with these leaders is there is no fresh idea coming into play, there is no going outside of the traditional Liberal box to make sure that they are not only addressing some of their values and beliefs, but they are also addressing some of the social issues, because if you look back at really what hurt the Liberals in the last election is not only the fact that people are concerned about lobbyists controlling them, it’s the fact that they did not address the social issues that are paramount with so many problems we have in the province of British Columbia.”
He added: “So whether Dianne Watts can do it or Andrew Wilkinson can do it – we haven’t heard from them in the past. So I think the Liberals, in my opinion, will be better off coming in with someone who has fresh ideas, someone that does not subscribe to those traditional Liberal values and ideas and is not going to get out of that ‘paradise.’”