Liberals in Steveston-Richmond East resign after candidate controversy

WATCH: Allegations of tampering and preventing the Liberal nomination in Steveston-Richmond East came to a head tonight. Catherine Urquhart reports.

Eight federal Liberals in B.C., including the provincial membership chair, have resigned their positions after a candidate was abruptly barred from running for the party’s nomination in Steveston-Richmond East.

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“I put my application forward believing it is an open nomination. Believing it is fair and transparent and it is just. But our right was taken away,” said Wendy Yuan at a rally with supporters on Tuesday.

Yuan, who ran and lost for the Liberals in Vancouver Kingsway in the last two federal elections, had been campaigning for several month against former MP Joe Peschisolido to run for the Liberals in the new electoral district.

But a day before the nomination meeting, Yuan announced she had not been approved by the party’s green-light committee.

“Our faith and our trust has been ignored, and has been taken away,” she said.

In response, B.C. membership chair Mike Hillman resigned from his position, along with the entire executive of the party’s local riding association.

“People told me that the party let Joe’s supporters in the back door, so it only left 10 or 20 seats for the rest of the party members. In the lobby you saw a lot of people not happy. They came here expecting to be part of the nomination,” said Peter Xie, who resigned as riding president.

The Liberal Party would not comment on the specific reason Yuan had been banned, only saying the process was more rigorous than previous elections.

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