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Cummins 'amused and flattered' by BC Liberal attack

Conservative Leader John Cummins said the attack ads the BC Liberals released today show the governing party is worried about his party's rise.

"I'm rather amused and flattered, I guess," he said of the ads which branded him as "unprincipled" for voting NDP in the last election despite being a conservative. "Obviously we're having an impact on the Liberals."

Some 20 percent of British Columbians who voted Conservative in the 2008 federal election, in which Cummins was elected as a Conservative MP, voted NDP in the 2009 provincial election, he said. "We're not socialist by any stretch of the imagination. We're small-c conservatives looking for a place to park our votes."

He and others voted NDP because they were dissatisfied with the BC Liberals, he said, adding that the Conservatives will also draw support from people who voted NDP last time, as well as the 50 percent of eligible voters who didn't cast a ballot in 2009.

NDP Leader condemned the "smear tactics and personal attacks," saying in a press release that people want honest debate about the issues that matter to them. Dix said he expects Premier Christy Clark's Liberals will launch similar ads against him.

"People pretty much already know Adrian Dix's history," said Langley MLA and aboriginal relations and reconciliation minister Mary Polak. They've heard about his role in Glen Clark's government and the faked memo that led to him losing his job, she said. "Adrian Dix is largely a known entity."

Cummins isn't a real conservative and is just riding on the coattails of the federal party, Polak said. "He seems to be an opportunist," she said. "It's time for us to fight back and let people know who John Cummins is . . . We feel we need to begin now and not enable him any longer to stand up and pretend he's a conservative alternative for British Columbians. He's not."

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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