Andrew Wilkinson has just resigned as Leader of the Opposition and chief of the BC Liberal Party. A replacement must be found within 12 months, as per the party's constitution — who exactly that might be is still a mystery. While MLAs and former leadership contenders position themselves to overturn the status quo of losing to the socialist NDP government — an outsider might just take a shot at being the youngest premier in the history of the country.
Aaron Gunn, aged 30, is a Victoria resident who has been fighting for government accountability for over a decade. He has also served in the military, and is an unapologetic populist conservative.
Gunn calls himself a “grassroots taxpayer advocate, journalist and conservative organizer” who has built up a following of millions of people over the years. In fact, Gunn has curated a following on Facebook larger than any other party leader in the province.
Gunn has been beating his drum to shore up support across Canada, and specifically in B.C., for the Canadian energy industry. But it doesn’t stop there; Gunn has been advocating for every populist issue under the sun, from calling for lifetime sentences for child murderers to protesting the removal of Canadian monuments in his hometown of Victoria.
He certainly isn’t a politician — but then again, people seem to prefer that these days.
“It’s clear that the BC Liberal party, which has traditionally been the home of federal conservatives in BC for over 20 years, is at a crossroads,” Gunn said in an exclusive interview with Rebel News. “I’ve been asked to consider running for leadership in an effort to rebuild bridges with British Columbians who no longer feel that the [BC Liberals] represent their values.”
But does this conservative media entrepreneur even want the job?
“While I have not made a final decision at this time, it is an option I'm seriously considering,” he said.
While he might be unsure — a well-organized campaign to draft Gunn into running has kicked off. The organizers say “[Aaron Gunn] has spent his career advocating for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom. He pushes established political parties to take action on issues they’d sooner ignore like condemning the tearing down of our history, standing up for Canadian resources, and abolishing the ICBC insurance monopoly.”
Gunn sounds like he is on the fence for now, but if he does run for the job and succeed, it would mean a total overhaul of the tried and failed policies of the BC Liberal Party. For starters, Gunn says he would rename the party to permanently shed the perceived ties to Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal party.
Gunn might just be the one to unite-the-right, as Alberta’s Jason Kenney did just a few years ago to great success.
The right in B.C. is fragmented, with just enough conservatives flocking to the largely unknown BC Conservative Party to ensure the governing NDP face a divided conservative opposition. Gunn could put an end to that, but we will have to wait to see how it unfolds. The BC Liberal Party has a deadline of this time next year to hold a leadership vote.