Dan Brooks (left) campaigns in Salmon Arm for the leadership of the B.C. Conservatives.

Brooks defeats B.C. Conservative ‘old guard’

Dan Brooks wants permanent settlement of aboriginal land claims, sale of Crown lands to stimulate economy

Dan Brooks says his election to replace John Cummins as leader of the B.C. Conservative Party represents a break from the “old guard” and a new era of stability for a party mainly known for in-fighting.

Brooks, 38, took 62% of the approximately 1,150 party members who voted. He defeated Rick Peterson, a 59-year-old investment banker who was endorsed by Cummins.

“It was a great blessing to me when John Cummins and that crew endorsed Rick,” Brooks said Monday. “At that very moment, quite frankly, I thought ‘I’ve just won this.’ And I think they misjudged the depth of feeling in the party.”

A former guide-outfitter, Brooks handed over his resort business near Vanderhoof to a partner and relocated to Kamloops to pursue his political career. He hopes to appeal to urban voters by emphasizing the steep increase in B.C.’s debt in the Christy Clark era of B.C. Liberal rule.

Brooks agrees with Clark’s emphasis on liquefied natural gas development, but says there is a “myopic” focus on one strategy while problems continue in forestry, mining and regions outside the north.

Brooks opposes revenue sharing agreements with aboriginal groups, which the B.C. Liberal government has extended from forests to mining and most recently to LNG development.

“I think we have to resolve land claims definitely, not this indefinite accommodate and consult that really just perpetuates this uncertainty problem that we face,” Brooks said. “I know a lot of Conservatives don’t share this view, but I personally don’t have a problem with settling land claims by giving First Nations land.”

The government’s proposal to divide the agricultural land reserve into two zones is a good step, but it doesn’t go far enough, Brooks said. The provincial economy suffers with 95% of all land owned by the province.

“Imagine if you opened that up and started selling public land to private individuals, settled land claims with first nations by giving them some land, imagine what it would do for our economy?” Brooks said.

 

Just Posted

Island Health, service providers meeting to talk about used needles in Victoria

Recent public needle-prick incidents prompt call to reduce number of needles found

Dozens rally outside Premier’s office for sick Sooke boy

Six-year-old Landen Lanthier needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Announcement for Sooke Road improvement expected this week

Premier promising ‘preliminary’ work, with more on the way

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Most Read