Vaughn Palmer (Provincial Political Columnist at Vancouver Sun)

Vaughn Palmer

Provincial Political Columnist at Vancouver Sun

Vaughn Palmer has been the Vancouver Sun’s provincial political columnist, based in Victoria, since 1984. To date he has covered 11 BC premiers and counting. He also does a daily commentary on B.C. politics on radio station CKNW in Vancouver. Palmer is the recipient of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster foundation, a co-winner of the Jack Webster award for reporting, and a recipient of the Hyman Solomon award for excellence in public policy journalism from the Canadian Public Policy Forum.

Keith Baldry (Chief Political Correspondent and Legislature Bureau Chief at Global BC)

Keith Baldry

Chief Political Correspondent and Legislature Bureau Chief at Global BC

Keith Baldrey is Global BC’s chief political correspondent and legislature bureau chief and one of B.C.’s best-known political commentators. He joined The Vancouver Sun in 1984, and moved to The Sun’s legislature bureau in 1986, becoming The Sun’s legislature bureau chief in 1989. He joined BCTV (now Global TV) in 1995. He has covered 10 premiers, 10 provincial elections and 12 federal elections (along with numerous federal campaigns and party leadership races). He also writes a weekly syndicated column on B.C. politics for a variety of B.C. papers and websites, including the North Shore News and the Burnaby Now, and is a daily commentator on CKNW Radio. He has written numerous magazine articles, and co-authored (with now-Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason) a book on former premier Bill Vander Zalm and his Social Credit government. In 2021, he was named Broadcast Performer of the Year by the B.C. Association of Broadcasters for his ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ariana Fotinakis (Co-founder of Reconciliation and Well-Being)

Ariana Fotinakis

Co-founder of Reconciliation and Well-Being

Ariana Fotinakis is a woman of mixed ancestry, with Anishinaabe roots and Greek roots. A daughter of a Sixties Scoop survivor, Ariana is proud to be reclaiming her heritage. As a trauma-informed decolonial facilitator, somatic coach and breathwork facilitator, Ariana brings a grounded, gentle, and compassionate approach that supports her clients as they decolonize their hearts and minds so they can share their medicine with the world.

Vanessa Lesperance (Co-founder of Reconciliation and Well-Being at The Mindful Managers)

Vanessa Lesperance

Co-founder of Reconciliation and Well-Being at The Mindful Managers

Vanessa Lesperance (she/her) is a heart-centered mixed heritage Metis woman who is reclaiming her roots. The proud descendant of voyageurs and ancestors who were part of the Red River Resistance.

She founded The Mindful Managers to help people connect to themselves and others in a good way. Vanessa is a facilitator, speaker and connector. She holds a graduate degree in business from SFU and a masters degree in leadership with a focus on decolonizing business through workplace spirituality. She works with Indigenous entrepreneurs (women and youth) from across Turtle Island. Vanessa has also written on leadership and decolonizing in a few publications and co-teaches at the Justice Institute on Power & Privilege.

Sonia Furstenau (Leader at BC Green Party)

Sonia Furstenau

Leader at BC Green Party

Sonia Furstenau studied at the University of Victoria, where she completed her BA and MA in History, and her Bachelor of Education degree. She has worked as a small business operator, a bookkeeper, as the National Administrator for Results Canada, and as a high school teacher in Victoria and Shawnigan Lake.

Sonia's advocacy in protecting her community’s drinking watershed led to her election in 2014 as Area Director for Area B of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. In 2017, Sonia was elected as the first B.C. Green MLA for Cowichan Valley and in 2020 was elected as the new leader of the B.C. Green Party and re-elected as MLA for Cowichan Valley.


Peter Milobar

Shadow Minister for Finance at BC United
John Rustad (Leader at Conservative Party of BC)

John Rustad

Leader at Conservative Party of BC

John Rustad is the MLA for Nechako Lakes and the Leader of the BC Conservative Party.

John was born and raised in Prince George, BC. In 1995, he married Kim Royle.

In 2005, John was elected to the riding of Prince George–Omineca. In 2009, after the redistribution, John was re-elected to his seat, now designated Nechako Lakes. He has served there ever since.

John has been a champion of resource development and economic reconciliation. As Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, John signed more than 400 agreements with First Nations that have created economic opportunity for all British Columbians.

In Spring 2023, John became the leader of the BC Conservative Party, taking the Tories from 2% to 34% in twelve months. John looks forward to competing for government on October 19th, 2024.