BC Conservative Dissidents Sue Party Over Membership

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JOHN CUMMINS
John Cummins announces his bid to become the new leader of the B.C. Conservative Party during a 2011 news conference in Vancouver. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward) | CP

Three ousted members of the B.C. Conservative Party seeking to be reinstated have taken their dispute to B.C. Supreme Court.

Lawyers for Ariane Eckhardt, Allison Patton and John Crocock filed a petition against the B.C. Conservative Party on Wednesday, asking for the party’s decision to revoke their memberships be voided and that they be reinstated immediately.

The court documents, provided to The Huffington Post B.C., claim that their memberships were revoked without notice and without a hearing as required by the party’s bylaws.

The B.C. Conservatives were gripped by internal strife that culminated in leader John Cummins expelling or censuring more than a dozen dissidents who were unhappy with his leadership.

At its annual convention in September, the party’s only sitting MLA John Van Dongen left the Conservatives to sit as an Independent, citing a lack of faith in Cummins.

According to documents supporting an affidavit filed by Crocock, the dissidents’ banishment came without the opportunity for a full hearing as required by the party rules. He also claims that the revocation was “predetermined and organized” prior to a provincial board meeting.

"I express my views because I want the Conservative Party to succeed," said Eckhardt, who was constituency association president for Burnaby North, in her affadavit.

Patton headed the Surrey-White Rock constituency association and was planning to run for MLA.

Party president Al Siebring told The Huffington Post B.C. that he could not comment while the matter is before the courts.

Also on HuffPost:

Departing B.C. MLAs Not Running In 2013 Election
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