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A former British Columbia government cabinet minister who left politics almost a decade ago to work in the private sector says he’s entering the Liberal party’s leadership contest.

Kevin Falcon announced his leadership bid Monday, saying he wants to rebuild, renew and rename B.C.’s Liberal Party, which has lost its way since the 2017 election.

Falcon is the third candidate to enter the Feb. 5, 2022 leadership race, joining Ellis Ross, the Liberal member of the legislature for Skeena, and Gavin Dew, a Vancouver entrepreneur and former Liberal byelection candidate.

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Liberal transportation critic Michael Lee signalled Monday he is also preparing a leadership bid with a social media post declaring he was “ready to run.”

Falcon, a former B.C. finance, health and transportation minister, says he left politics in 2013 to spend more time with his young family, but he’s now seeking the leadership to protect both his family’s and the province’s future from what he says is NDP mismanagement.

Falcon, first elected in Surrey-Cloverdale in 2001, is making his second bid for party leader after being defeated by former leader Christy Clark in 2011.

“My belief is if you share our principles of a private sector driven economy, generating sufficient revenues to support first-class public services, then you ought to be part of our party regardless of your sexual orientation, regardless of your gender, regardless of your ethnic or socio-economic background,” says Falcon.

“I’m just genuinely really concerned about the direction the NDP is going in,” he says in an interview. “They’re just essentially reprising their playbook from the 1990s and I know where that’s going to lead and I’m very concerned about it.”

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