Just in time for the Dec. 17 deadline for BC Liberal leadership campaigns to sign-up new members, a fresh scandal.
theBreaker.news has learned from BC Liberal insiders that as many as 2,500 new memberships sold by perceived frontrunner Kevin Falcon are in dispute.
Falcon’s team has focused on Surrey and Abbotsford. A source said many new members share the same residential or commercial address, or provided an address outside Canada. In some cases, payment has come in the form of pre-paid credit and debit cards.
The source also said Falcon campaign manager Kareem Allam told supporters during an event on the final weekend of the new membership sales phase that he guaranteed Falcon would win.
On Twitter at 5:06 p.m. on Dec. 17, Allam said he was “so proud” of the Falcon campaign.
“With the BC Liberals membership deadline now passed, I am proud to share that no other campaign has sold more memberships than the Kevin Falcon campaign…. This is real renewal,” Allam Tweeted.
That, however, does not translate into automatic first ballot victory. The party is allocating 100 points to each electoral district for the Feb. 3-5, 2022 vote. Andrew Wilkinson resigned after the 2020 election loss and Shirley Bond became the interim leader.
Falcon dismissed the controversy in an email to theBreaker.news.
“It’s the typical kind of accusations made from a competing campaign that realizes we have signed up the most new members. The Party has a rigorous audit process and if there are any mistakes found in new memberships (very common when campaigns are signing up thousands of new members) then they will be dealt with,” Falcon said.
The campaigns have a Dec. 29 deadline to renew lapsed members.
The last two BC Liberal leadership campaigns were also tainted by scandal.
In 2011, Christy Clark edged former Finance and Health Minister Falcon for the leadership. Seven years later, it was confirmed that Clark’s campaign gathered blocks of PINs for the online and phone vote, which likely put it over the top.
In 2018, leadership contestant Todd Stone lost more than 1,400 memberships, mainly from Surrey and Richmond, that involved technology from Victoria political data agency Aggregate IQ. Stone is one of Falcon’s high-profile supporters, along with Trudeau Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal.
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