British Columbia’s political arena was shaken on Wednesday after MLA for Abbotsford South, Bruce Banman, announced his decision to leave the BC United caucus and join the BC Conservatives.
Banman’s move means that the party can claim official status in the legislature.
The Abbotsford South MLA made the announcement on Wednesday morning, becoming the second sitting MLA to abandon the BC United caucus, formerly known as the BC Liberals.
“I’m proud to join my friend John Rustad as the voice for everyday hardworking people in British Columbia’s Legislature,” wrote Banman in a statement published by the Conservative Party of British Columbia.
“Conservatives have common sense. We don’t support Trudeau-backed policies like the punishing carbon tax that hurts everyday people; we refuse to condone the ideological NDP education agenda that teaches students what to think instead of how to think; and, we will never support the myth of safe supply that kills British Columbians and poisons our communities with hard drugs.”
This move comes in the wake of MLA John Rustad’s acclamation as the BC Conservative leader earlier this year.
Rustad had been expelled from the BC United caucus by leader Kevin Falcon in March 2023 after he expressed several controversial opinions about climate change.
Soon after being booted out of the caucus, Rustad joined up with the BC Conservatives – the first MLA that party has seen in the legislature in over a decade.
Banman was first elected in 2020, is a former mayor of Abbotsford and a chiropractor.
“I believe BC needs a leader who is a straight up, decent human being — and a party that’s willing to put politics aside to stand for what’s right,” said Banman.
“After watching him fight for everyday British Columbians, both in BC’s legislature and all across our province — I have come to believe that leader is John Rustad, and that party is the Conservative Party of British Columbia.”