B.C. Liberals hoping to recruit more diverse slate of candidates

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The B.C. Liberals have launched a new recruitment campaign, saying there is not enough women, millennials and overall diversity in the legislature.

Leader Andrew Wilkinson said they are looking for at least 50 candidates from all backgrounds and walks of life.

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“We’re particularly interested in attracting keen, capable women, and of course, people from visible minorities who may be underrepresented in the legislature,” he says.

Traditionally the party has put out feelers for new candidates by word mouth, but this time, Wilkinson says the party is hoping to reach candidates online that may not have been accessible to them before.

“British Columbia is a big, diverse place, and MLAs need to represent their communities,” he says.

In a press release, the B.C. Liberals say that every party, including theirs “can, and must, do a better job at embracing diversity through merit.”

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The recruitment push comes after the party was criticized in the last election as being out of touch with British Columbians.

Allan Tupper, a political science professor at UBC, says there’s no evidence that the party is in dire straights but it does have some work to do.

“The sense of people in politics must be that online recruitment might be the best way to attract people who are not necessarily engaged in politics now,” he says.

“There’s no evidence that there’s anything particularly unusual about the B.C. Liberals. They have to do some work. They were in power for 16 years, they gave evidence of getting out of touch, and they have to get back in there.”

Last week, Wilkinson said at least three current BC Liberal MLAs won’t be running in the next election.

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