Moments after B.C. Conservative Party members voted on Sept. 22 to retain John Cummins as their leader, Abbotsford South MLA John van Don-gen said he was quitting the party to sit as an independent.
For the second time in six months, van Dongen cited a lack of confidence in a party leader's abilities as the reason for his leaving, as well as differences in the party's direction.
"The job of the premier of B.C. is an extremely tough job. [Cummins] doesn't have the skill set or the qualities for that tough job," van Dongen said.
"And frankly, I did not have a good response from [Abbotsford] constituents about John Cummins as the leader," he told the Times.
Van Dongen left the BC Liberals in March to join the Conservatives because he could no longer support Premier Christy Clark.
He pointed to the unexplained cancellation of a $35-million naming rights agreement with Telus as well as the unanswered questions about writing off $6 million in legal fees in the BC Rail case.
Van Dongen said he joined the BCCP in "good faith with the stated goal of building a credible, broad-based free enterprise party".