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Two B.C. Tories leave party before campaign in cost-cutting measure

B.C. Conservative Party Leader John Cummins is pictured in March, 2011. Two senior B.C. Conservatives officials have departed the party about a week before the start of the provincial election campaign, due to what the party leader described as cost cutting.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Two senior B.C. Conservatives officials have departed the party about a week before the start of the provincial election campaign, due to what the party leader described as cost cutting.

Political adviser Will McMartin and communications director Kristy Fredericks both left the party late last week.

The writ is to be dropped April 16, launching a campaign that leads to the May 14 provincial election.

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Party leader John Cummins said Tuesday both Mr. McMartin and Ms. Fredericks were paid staff and the party could not afford them as the election loomed.

"We've got to direct our limited resources the best way we can," he said in an interview.

Mr. Cummins said the pair had been replaced, but declined comment on their compensation, calling the issue "internal party matters."

Neither Mr. McMartin nor Ms. Fredericks were available for comment.

Mr. Cummins said he hoped to work with the pair again. "I have got a great deal of respect for both of them."

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