Rich Coleman named interim caucus leader for BC Liberal Party

Marie Harrington
August 9, 2017

The political landscape in BC is seeing a major shift with Christy Clark stepping down as leader of the Liberals and leaving her role as MLA in Kelowna-West.

In a statement issued Friday, Christy Clark said she'd informed her colleagues of her intention to resign effective August 4.

Ruff said there were murmurs within the party about Clark's decision to run the same election campaign that helped her win a majority in 2013.

Clark will also resign as her seat as MLA for Kelowna-West.

"I'm excited to see the renewed engagement that will strengthen and energize our party as we choose the next leader", Clark said in an email.

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. She launched her leadership bid with a "family-first agenda" and was elected leader on the third ballot with 52 per cent of the vote over former Health Minister Kevin Falcon's 48 per cent. She won the B.C. Liberal leadership in 2011 and became the first woman in the province to lead a party to victory two years later. She lost power when the NDP and Greens reached an accord that gave them a one-seat edge in the legislature.

White wrote that she must call a meeting of party executives within the next 28 days to come up with a date and plan for a leadership vote.

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"She was struggling with what she wanted to do". The NDP- Green alliance had a slim 44-43 vote edge over the Liberals that will widen to 44-42 until Clark is replaced.

Instead, she finally did the principled thing and resigned. 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.

"A highlight of my time in the Legislature was working directly with Christy Clark to implement sexualized violence policy legislation for BC's post-secondary institutions".

"She has been a fierce advocate for British Columbia, here at home and around the world", he said in the statement. Instead, the lieutenant-governor asked New Democrat Leader John Horgan to form government. This experience illustrated what we can achieve when members of this house work together.

"Although she got slightly more votes than the NDP, [the Liberals] faltered as a government and she takes the blame for the situation that they find themselves in", he said.

Former B.C. Liberal MLA Bill Bennett described Clark's resignation as a loss for both the party and the province, strongly dismissing any suggestion the party forced her out.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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