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B.C. Liberals forge ahead with name change to B.C. United

It’s a sign the party is no longer bracing for a snap election.
Kevin Falcon says a BC Liberal government led by him would establish targets for new housing, and swift penalties for local governments that don’t measure up. | @KevinFalcon / Twitter

Kevin Falcon surprised reporters when he announced last Thursday that it would be his last news conference as leader of the B.C. Liberals.

As of this coming Wednesday, Falcon will head B.C. United, the new name for a party that is trying to recapture the young urban voters who turned to the NDP in the past two elections.

The party announced in November a majority of its members backed the rebranding but it was unclear when the name change would become official.

Falcon had said the party wanted to be strategic about the timing, to ensure the NDP government doesn’t call a snap election at a time when public knowledge of B.C. United is low.

Asked whether the party is no longer concerned about an early election, Falcon seemed to trust Premier David Eby’s repeated pledge that he’ll stick to the fixed date.

“He’s repeated so many times that he is going to hold that election in October 2024 that it would just be such an indictment of his character and integrity,” Falcon said. “I don’t think there’s a chance he would do that.”

Nonetheless, the party will make sure it’s ready for an election at any time, Falcon said. Former premier John Horgan called a snap election in 2020, despite promises to the contrary. The gamble paid off, delivering the NDP its largest ever majority.