BC Tories censure Patton and 14 others
Fifteen dissident BC Conservative Party members will be disciplined for calling for leader John Cummins to resign.
The “affected party members” will be notified by mail this week, party leader Al Siebring said in a statement issued Monday.
He did not name the 15, nor did he say if all 15 are being stripped of their party memberships.
The Siebring press release said punishment will include “terminations of membership and letters of censure.”
The list was expected to include Allison Patton, president of the Surrey-White Rock BC Conservative constituency association and a vocal critic of Cummins.
“When I get my letter, I will frame it,” Patton told Peace Arch News Monday.
She called the announcement “bizarre” and said legal action is a possibility.
The party board of directors also announced plans to create a “unity committee,” and passed a motion to express “full confidence and support” for Cummins as leader.
According to Siebring, the move to purge the dissidents followed a failed attempt last week to end the infighting before a Cummins deadline for the dissidents to leave the party or get in line.
In an open letter emailed to party members Wednesday, Siebring said he and an unnamed member of the party board of directors met the day of the deadline in Delta with two representatives of the anti- Cummins faction, also unnamed.
Siebring said he agreed to meet on condition that “those attending the meeting” would drop their call for Cummins to step down and would “only discuss positive initiatives to lead the party to success…”
Enough progress was made at the meeting, according to Siebring, that a joint statement was drafted for release to reporters that called the session “constructive.”
It was never issued.
The same day, Patton and the president of the Burnaby North constituency association, Ariane Eckardt, issued a press release saying the meeting produced a deal for Cummins to resign, but Cummins had reneged.
“(Cummins would step down) by Friday with $4,000 per month for six months and… Rick Peterson would become interim leader,” the statement claimed.
Cummins participated in the meeting by phone, according to Patton and Eckardt.
Cummins called the Patton-Eckardt statement an “absolute fabrication.”
At Peace Arch News press time Monday, Patton issued a statement saying her constituency association held an emergency meeting on the weekend, passing resolutions formally requesting Cummins’ resignation and demanding a special general meeting.