Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for 2nd run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces on the same day

Former B.C. finance minister Kevin Falcon is set to make his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership official Monday evening, with a Facebook live event that has been previewed on social media for the past week.

A teaser campaign on Twitter started with “Ready?” then “Set…” then “Let’s Go,” a video featuring an invitation from former Surrey mayor and MP Dianne Watts to join the virtual event at 7 p.m. May 17. Watts was narrowly defeated by Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson for the leadership that followed the Clark’s defeat and resignation when the B.C. Greens supported John Horgan’s minority NDP government in 2017.

Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee, another contestant in the 2017 leadership, announced his intentions Monday with a “ready to run” jogging video on Twitter.

Falcon is the third declared candidate, and Lee the fourth, along with Skeena MLA Ellis Ross and Vancouver business consultant and long-time party member Gavin Dew, with a party vote set to take place in February 2022. A long-time resident and MLA for Surrey, Falcon seeks to lead a party that lost seats in the Fraser Valley in the snap election in October 2020.

RELATED: Dew joins Ellis Ross in B.C. Liberal leadership contest

RELATED: How does British Columbia Party sound for 2022?

NDP members immediately gave Falcon the front-runner treatment. “Yesterday’s leader, yesterday’s party. Even yesterday’s branding!” Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon tweeted in response to the Falcon promotions.

Falcon placed second to Christy Clark in the 2011 leadership contest to succeed Gordon Campbell. He went on to serve as finance minister and deputy premier during the wind-up of the harmonized sales tax before leaving politics in advance of the scheduled 2013 election. That election saw Clark form a fourth straight majority B.C. Liberal government, in what was seen as an upset over then-NDP leader Adrian Dix.

The defeat of the HST in a province-wide referendum forced the B.C. Liberal government to revert to the seven per cent provincial sales tax and repay a $1.6 billion transition fund that the federal government provided as an incentive to join the harmonized tax program.

The province booked the repayment as a cost for the 2011-12 fiscal year, pushing the provincial operating deficit up to about $3 billion for that year. The deficit was eliminated before the 2013 election, after the 2009-10 banking crisis and recession.

Falcon was first elected MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale in the B.C. Liberal sweep of 2001. His first cabinet post was minister of state for deregulation, and he served as minister of health and transportation before moving to finance in March 2011.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politics

Just Posted

Caledonia Secondary School is the recipient of a $50,000 grant to replace its aging science equipment. (File photo)
Cal snags major grant to modernize science equipment

The $50,000 comes from a pharmaceutical company

Unemployment rate drops in northwestern B.C.

Large improvement since Spring 2020

Uplands Nursery this year will do all of the 4600 Block of Lazelle Ave., beginning at its east end, and a portion of the 4700 Block. (File photo)
Lazelle sidewalk project begins June 14

Improvements coming to 4600 and 4700 Blocks

Cassie Hall Elementary School students pose for a picture in their garden. Since 2019, students and staff at the school have been attending to the garden project. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)
Cassie Hall students grow a green sanctuary at school

The K-6 elementary school students and staff have been working on the garden project since 2019

Glenn Bennett returns as chief councillor for Kitselas First Nation after June 10 elections. (Submitted photo)
Kitselas First Nation votes Glenn Bennett as chief councillor on June 10

Six council members were also elected from a packed pool of candidates

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Most Read