Abbott enjoying campaign’s tone

Despite the latest barbs being tossed around by the three leaders in the Liberal leadership race, one of cthe ontestants says he’s happy with the tenor of the contest.

  • Feb. 5, 2011 8:00 p.m.

Despite the latest barbs being tossed around by the three leaders in the Liberal leadership race, one of cthe ontestants says he’s happy with the tenor of the contest.

Shuswap MLA George Abbott, who insists he is running a strong second to frontrunner Christy Clark, said Wednesday in Lake Country, that the Liberal campaign is “amicable. Sure, there have been sparks. But the occasional spark is fine,” said the former health and aboriginal relations minister.

Abbott was in Lake Country to announce his proposal for a $1,000 per year tax credit for families who look after senior relatives in their own home.

The first signs that the race to succeed Gordon Campbell as Liberal leader and B.C. premier later this month was getting personal surfaced last week when Clark challenged another candidate, her former cabinet colleague Kevin Falcon, over his ties to business leaders. Falcon shot back saying he expected such criticism from the opposition NDP, not a fellow Liberal.

On Wednesday, after Clark reversed her earlier suggestion that MLAs, not the public, vote on the future of the HST, both Abbott and Falcon publicly accused her of “flip-flopping.”

But earlier in the day, Abbott said it is important that whoever wins the Liberal leadership is supported by all in the party and that Liberals come out of the contest united.