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

Most cows saved during massive fire on Agassiz farm thanks to fast work of farmers, neighbours

Agassiz Fire Department responded to late night call Wednesday

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Massive fire destroys Agassiz dairy barn

Reports say at least one cow died in the blaze

First court date in Chilliwack for man accused of murdering Belgian tourist

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance Wednesday

Another successful year for Chilliwack’s ‘We Got Your Back’ backpack program

Sponsored by local businesses, program stocks backpacks with school supplies for students in need

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read