Another BC United MLA crosses floor to join the BC Conservatives
Another BC United MLA crosses floor to join the BC Conservatives

After a turbulent week in British Columbia politics, a BC United MLA has crossed the floor to join John Rustad’s BC Conservative party.

In a press release, BC United MLA Lorne Doerkson announced he would be joining the growing BC Conservatives as the official opposition party sheds MLAs to the party now surging in the polls.

“Today, I am making a change because I believe this upcoming election is simply too consequential,” said Doerkson. 

“I have spent countless hours listening to my constituents in the recent months. The response has been overwhelming. The residents or cariboo-Chilcorin want to see David Eby defeated and they want to see a common sense Conservative government in Victoria,”

Doerkson says that he is excited to work with BC Conservative leader John Rustad and to advocate for a conservative policy program.

“I look forward to working with John Rustad and the Conservative team. Whether it is axing the carbon tax, revitalizing our resource sector or reforming our broken healthcare system, it’s never been more clear that BC needs a common sense government.”

In a comment to True North, BC United said that they are disappointed in Doerkson’s floor crossing and that his decision was purely motivated by public opinion polls.

“We’re disappointed to hear Lorne Doerkson has decided to join John Rustad’s BC Conservatives, which includes candidates who are anti-LGBTQ+, anti-choice, and COVID-19/United Nations conspiracy theorists,” said a BC United spokesperson.

“Lorne’s decision was driven by concern over polls and the desire to protect his government-funded pension, and he will need to defend that decision at the only poll that actually counts – on election day.”

Doerkson is the third MLA to cross the floor and join the BC Conservatives since leader John Rustad was forced out by BC United leader Kevin Falcon and eventually took over the helm of the Conservatives.

The move comes as the BC Conservatives continue to surpass BC United in public opinion polls, projected to displace Falcon’s party as the official opposition. 

A recent Angus Reid poll has the NDP at 41%, the BC Conservatives at 30%, and BC United fighting for a distant third place with the BC Green Party at 16% and 11% respectively.

In Doerkson’s riding of Cariboo-Chilcotin, 338Canada projects the BC Conservatives to win in a landslide, with BC United projected to place third behind the NDP.

Doerkson is a first-term MLA initially elected in 2020 as a BC United member, serving as the shadow minister for emergency management and critic for Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, and before his departure. 

Before entering politics, Doerkson served as the publisher of the 100 Mile House Free Press in 100 Mile House,  a town of less than 2,000 people. 

Despite Doerkson joining the BC Conservatives, he had recently retweeted a barb accusing his new party of running an “extremist” as a candidate, referring to Damon Scrase, who has resigned as the Conservatives’ candidate for Courtenay-Comox earlier this week.

The BC Conservatives are the third place party in the legislature, surpassing the BC Green Party who currently hold two seats.

The upcoming BC election will be held Oct. 19 of this year.

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