A Letter from Michael Lee - My Vision & Values

To all British Columbians,
 
I’m running to lead the BC Liberal Party and be the next Premier of British Columbia. My mission is to rebuild the party, but also to restore trust in our politics. That rebuild must be grounded in the values that our party stands for. My vision is based on five values:
 
    1.    Accountability
    2.    Community
    3.    Compassion
    4.    Integrity
    5.    Inclusivity


At their intersection is trust. Without a foundation of trust, these are just words spoken by yet another politician. Under my leadership, the culture of the party will change for the better and restore your trust.
 
More importantly, we will bring about real change and demonstrate that we are worthy of your trust. I will lead a party that is known across North America for setting a political benchmark for accountability.
 
Our party executive will be accountable to the membership, as will I. We will have delegated conventions, open nominations, and board elections. Regional organizers and directors will be elected and accountable while being provided with the tools and resources needed to help riding associations grow, and to follow through on their commitments. Our fundraising will be modernized and transparent, and will provide members and donors with clear reporting on where their money has been spent.
 
Accountability built on trust creates space for community. I know this from my early days of working with youth at risk in Vancouver’s Chinatown; working on youth leadership initiatives when I was in student government at UBC; working with immigrant, social service, and children and youth organizations across the Lower Mainland; and serving in volunteer roles within our party’s grassroots membership. And now, as an Member of the Legislative Assembly, I have been working with community organizations and have personally knocked on more than 20,000 doors in four years, hearing the voices of many British Columbians.
 
Our party needs to be connected to every community in this province. We must be a party that actively supports local initiatives and community events, not just every four years, but non-stop as a civic duty. Our nominated candidates will be from all walks of life with demonstrated track records of community service and trusted reputations. I will support my caucus colleagues to be active leaders in their communities, doing the hard work with others on the ground. Our party will seek out partnerships within communities and build connections between neighbours.
 
With community comes compassion. Our party helps people feel connected to our broader society, and connecting with new people through politics reminds us that we all need to live and work together with respect and understanding. The BC Liberals lost the 2017 election. This happened because British Columbians thought our focus was too narrow and that we didn’t care about all people, and lacked compassion for those needing a hand up. We DO care about people -- a lot. I am, and my colleagues are, here to serve our community and province. We care about reliable healthcare, affordable homes, and accessible child care. The party I lead will work in our communities with compassion and lend a hand where it's needed so that our province moves forward together.
 
Our party needs to listen to all British Columbians, and not be beholden to special interests. It is important to me as a leader that I ground my decisions in my stated values and that I keep my promises. This level of integrity will be central to everything we do as a party. It means owning our mistakes, being able to change course when presented with new information, and remaining true to the values-based leadership approach I’ve laid out here.
 
This brings us to inclusivity. I want to be very clear here. Our party must welcome everyone who believes in the values of our party, regardless of your age, gender, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. I want you to join us. Most importantly, there is no room in our party for people who bully, disrespect, or treat others with anything less than the dignity we all deserve. My campaign team has put in place a code of conduct, which I would expect my caucus colleagues, employees, party members, and volunteers to agree to as we build an inclusive and successful political movement. A commitment to respect and mutual accountability needs to be adhered to if we want to recruit a truly diverse and highly skilled team of candidates that will form government in 2024.
 
The party that I lead to victory in 2024 will restore trust and embody the values of Accountability, Community, Compassion, Integrity and Inclusivity. There’s a lot of work to do to rebuild this party. I need your help and support - the hard work is worth it and your contributions make a real impact. Let's embrace these values and do it together. I am asking you to join me now.  Your voice makes us stronger.



Michael Lee
 

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About Michael

Michael Lee is a BC Liberal Party leadership candidate and the MLA for Vancouver-Langara. Before entering politics, Michael was a prominent business lawyer in Vancouver, where he worked for 20 years with forestry, mining, energy, and technology companies across BC. He also has a strong record of community service for over 30 years, including with social service, educational, and children and youth organizations. A son of immigrants, Michael was born and raised in Vancouver. He and his wife Christina have three young adult children.

Contact

300-3665 Kingsway
Vancouver BC V5R 5W2