05/09/2012 10:18 EDT | Updated 07/09/2012 05:12 EDT

BC Liberal MLA launches attacks on rival politicians in legislature's halls

VICTORIA - If words were bullets, then the halls of the British Columbia legislature would have been transformed into a free-fire zone by a Liberal politician Wednesday.

The looming election battle between the governing Liberals, the NDP and upstart Conservatives began early with a vitriolic attack on his political rivals by Kevin Krueger, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson.

Krueger thrashed his old colleague and current Conservative MLA John van Dongen for trying to lead an alleged mutiny against former premier Gordon Campbell and for his record of speeding tickets.

He lambasted NDP Leader Adrian Dix for travelling on transit recently without a valid ticket and for backdating a memo while serving in former NDP premier Glen Clark's government.

Even BC Conservative Party Leader John Cummins found himself under sniper fire.

"So between John Van Dongen and Adran Dix and the ridiculous John Cummins there's this conspiracy to try and discredit our premier," said Krueger. "It isn't fair. I don't think she's been given a fair shot at all. I don't think Gordon Campbell was been given a fair shot."

"I'd really like people to start giving Christy Clark a fair shake and stop paving the way for Adrian Dix's preposterous attempt to become premier."

In response, Dix refused to return fire, saying he was disappointed and that Krueger's antics had no place in the legislature.

"I think the Liberal party in its desperate attempts to hang on to power is hurting the democratic process," he said. "We need to change that."

While the May 2013 provincial election is still about a year away, the governing Liberals are still smarting after April byelection defeats in the former strongholds of Chilliwack and Port Moody-Coquitlam.

On Wednesday, the war shifted to the halls of the legislature.

Krueger took a bead first on van Dongen, alleging he tried to lead a mutiny against Campbell, an allegation disclosed recently in a Supreme Court of B.C. affidavit.

"Gordon Campbell, I believe, will go down in history as one of the finest premiers British Columbia ever had, and this little man with his jealousy and his self-serving behaviours continues to attack him long after he has gone," said Krueger.

He also challenged the integrity of van Dongen by exhuming the Conservative MLA's speeding-ticket record.

Van Dongen, in fact, resigned as the Liberal's solicitor general in April 2009 after the public learned he lost his licence over the tickets.

"This guys stands up in the legislature and yammers on about his integrity. So where's your integrity when you're the minister responsible for public safety and you rack up a string of speeding tickets as long as your arm.

"Integrity is all or nothing. It's nothing in that."

Turning his sights on Dix, Krueger then popped off a couple shots at the NDP Leader for failing to have a valid ticket while travelling on transit recently.

He said MLAs are given an allowance to travel within their constituencies, and Dix should have been able to afford some kind of pass.

"But oh, he forgot that day, and, oh, he accepts full responsibility. Well, it's just baloney."

The next target to pop up was the memo Dix admitted to backdating while working for former NDP premier Glen Clark in the 1990s.

"When we talk about that memo he forged when he was Glen Clark's chief of staff and he says, and the NDP say, 'that's old news,' it's not old news. It's a pattern as far as I'm concerned of dishonesty."

Following the tirade, Premier Christy Clark said little about Krueger's comments.

"I agree that Kevin Krueger is a very passionate guy, and he expresses his views of things often without a lot of filter, and he's not Mr. politically correct."

But she said the risk Dix poses to the province's future is great.

Dix said he's ready for that debate.

"Like I say, I'm looking forward to the debate," said Dix. "I think we should have a great debate."