Cummins resists infighting, coming to Kamloops

'We're going to have a couple of pints and we're going to talk politics'

Jason Hewlett / Kamloops Daily News
October 10, 2012 01:00 AM

John Cummins

Embattled B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins brushed aside calls to resign from within his party and instead announced he's touring the province.

The tour will bring him to Kamloops on Thursday, Nov. 1 for a pints-and-politics night at the Inlander Neighbourhood Pub in Valleyview starting at 6:30 p.m.

"We're going to have a couple of pints and we're going to talk politics," Al Forseth, a regional director for the party, said Wednesday.

Cummins announced the tour on the same day he'd set a noon deadline for any party dissenters to get on board with his leadership or get out of the party.

That deadline passed without incident. The dissenters set a press conference of their own for 4 p.m. and were expected to ask Cummins to resign.

Forseth followed the conference via Twitter. He said half a dozen party members told Cummins to shape up or ship out.

"As far as I know John Cummins has no plans to go anywhere," he said, adding the situation is in flux. "Basically it sounded like they (the dissenters) were giving him a spanking."

At the noon deadline, Cummins released financial information that says the party is in the best shape ever.

The party's treasurer said the B.C. Conservatives raised over $200,000 in the first nine months of this year. Cummins added that in 2012, the party will raise as much as it did in the previous seven years combined.

As far as Forseth is concerned, Cummins is doing a good job and he sees no need for his leader to step aside.

"I have no problem or issue with how he runs the party," he said.

Last month, party members voted just over 70 per cent in support of Cummins' leadership and against holding a leadership review.

Hours after that vote, the party's only sitting MLA John van Dongen quit the party saying he doesn't believe Cummins can do the job.

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake said the Conservative infighting is good for the Liberals, as the both are free-enterprise parties. If the Conservatives fall apart, the free-enterprise vote can't be split, he said.

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