A former Liberal cabinet minister who has been sitting in British Columbia's legislature as an Independent is the new leader of the provincial Conservatives.
John Rustad, the member of the legislature for Nechako Lakes, was acclaimed leader of the Conservative Party of B.C. as the only candidate who entered the race.
Rustad, who is 60 years old, replaces former leader Trevor Bolin, who was serving as interim leader.
Opposition Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon said he dumped Rustad from the party caucus last August for his public statements and social media posts suggesting climate change is not caused by carbon dioxide emissions.
Rustad, who once held cabinet posts in forests and Indigenous affairs in former Liberal governments, announced last month he was joining the B.C. Conservatives, who received less than two per cent of the vote in the 2020 provincial election.
He says in a statement issued by the Conservative Party of B.C. that he will work to bring people together in an effort to build a grassroots movement of supporters in time for the fall 2024 provincial election.