Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Going, going, gone! Christy quits as BC Liberal head honcho

BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark
Saul Franklin | 09 August, 2017, 00:22

A day after Christy Clark announced she is resigning as BC Liberal leader, one of the party's MLAs says he is considering a run to replace her.

Liberal Party president Sharon White said in a statement that the party has 28 days to set a leadership vote.

Clark, 51, led a come-from-behind victory in 2013, sweeping her party to a surprise win over the New Democrats.

In a second statement, this time to supporters, Clark said she was excited to see renewed engagement that she believes will strengthen the party.

Elections B.C. spokesperson Andrew Watson says the riding's fourth election since 2013 must be called within six months of a vacancy in the assembly.

"It was a shock, yes, but at the same time I would say not totally unexpected", said Larson, noting that in recent weeks the former B.C. premier has talked more about family and personal obligations. The NDP and Greens formed an alliance that gave them a majority of just one seat, leading to Clark's defeat in the legislature and the appointment of NDP leader John Horgan as premier. Her final accomplishment, however, was the courage to step down, certainly not when or how she wanted to but when it was the responsible thing to do.

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She sacrificed her future political ambition and goals for the long-term health and vitality of her party.

Meanwhile, the vacant seat for the B.C. Liberals means the ruling NDP-Greens are no longer in danger of a non-confidence vote in the B.C. Legislature. In that light, the expected move going forward would have been for her to torment Horgan and his new government mercilessly, forcing it to crumble and triggering another election either this fall or early next year, all for another chance to be premier. She will also be stepping down as MLA for Kelowna-West. The precarious NDP government and likely new election looming will probably entice a number of strong candidates to throw their hats into the ring, he said.

"She has been a fierce advocate for British Columbia, here at home and around the world", he said in the statement. Weaver cited his experience teaming up with Clark to introduce sexualized violence policy legislation for post-secondary schools.

While the leadership campaign and convention details get sorted out by the party executive, the BC Liberals are staying on task with their opposition duties, Shypitka said.

"The premier leaves with her head held high", said Kyllo, adding that the province has created a strong economy.

"She's the greatest person I've ever worked for", Coleman told a small group of local reporters outside the Penticton Lakeside Resort where the BC Liberal caucus had been meeting since Wednesday.

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