Today, I bring you a sit-down interview with Conservative Party of BC and Abbotsford South MLA Bruce Banman, who offers some insight into what it's like to be a politician whose opinion differs from his party's position. Banman experienced this firsthand when it came to supporting the Trudeau regime's unlawful invocation of the Emergencies Act to smother out Canada's Freedom Convoy in 2022 when he was still a member of BC United.
As reported by Rebel News last April, just over a year after the Freedom Convoy was obliterated, the BC NDP government put forth a motion seeking to have members of the legislative assembly condemn the convoy protest and applaud COVID-19 mandates.
Conservative Party of BC Leader John Rustad was the lone MLA to stand firm against the motion, but eyebrows were raised about some of the MLAs who are members of the BC United party, who were absent during the vote, including Abbotsford-South MLA Bruce Banman.
"I was told, 'Look, we're all going to vote in favour of this, and for those of you that have a problem with that, don't be in the building,'" Banman told Rebel News.
While he regrets going against his conscience and would do so differently if faced with the same decision again, Banman felt "there was no option to say no" under Kevin Falcon's leadership.
Watch the full interview to hear more from Banman about how he struggled with not voting against the motion, and why the pressure put on him to denounce the Freedom Convoy was the pivotal moment that made him lose faith in the BC United party, eventually leading him to cross the floor and join the Conservative Party of BC instead.
UPDATE (Jan. 31, 2024) — Rebel News received a response from BC United about the motion to condemn the Freedom Convoy. Below is the party's reply, sent by deputy communications director Andrew Reeve:
That motion, introduced by the NDP, deliberately aimed to divide British Columbians more than 14 months after the events in Ottawa and more than three years after the start of the pandemic. Let's be clear, that motion and subsequent vote was a completely empty, meaningless, pointless, waste of elected officials' time, and had no legislative consequence. It was purely political theatre orchestrated by the divisive NDP government aiming to divide British Columbians.
Our Caucus refused to engage in the NDP's petty partisan gamesmanship. We made this point during the debate on the NDP’s divisive motion and voted accordingly.
We continue to oppose any efforts to divide British Columbians and remain focus on the key issues facing people throughout our province.
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