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Eby warns about United-Conservative merger, says B.C. voters face 'starkest choice'

B.C. Premier David Eby speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on Feb. 5, 2023. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck) B.C. Premier David Eby speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on Feb. 5, 2023. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
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Premier David Eby delivered an election-style speech to his New Democrat caucus, warning of the potential merger between the opposition BC United and B.C. Conservative parties, saying the fall election is shaping up to be the "starkest choice in a generation."

Eby says BC United Leader Kevin Falcon and Conservative Leader John Rustad let the "mask slip" this week, confirming exploratory talks are underway about forming a single centre-right political alternative to the New Democrats.

Falcon and Rustad have acknowledged this week that talks were underway behind the scenes to explore the possibility of a merger of their parties.

Eby took aim at the Conservatives earlier this week on the issue of child care, mentioning Rustad and his party 10 times, while referring once to the Opposition BC United, signalling which party the NDP considers their main political threat.

The premier told his caucus that Falcon and Rustad are meeting with big business lobbyists on a plan to stop the NDP, but the next election will be decided by voters at their kitchen tables and not business board rooms.

The B.C. legislature adjourns today for the summer, with the fall election date set for Oct. 19.

The current standings in B.C.'s 87-seat legislature are 55 New Democrats, 26 BC United, two Conservatives, two Greens and two Independents.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2024.

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