Christy Clark to resign as B.C. Liberal leader
Tells the caucus she will also give up her seat in Kelowna
VANCOUVER — Former British Columbia premier Christy Clark will resign as leader of the provincial Liberal party and give up her seat in Kelowna.
Clark made her intentions known on Friday. She said she informed her caucus colleagues about her decision to leave as leader effective Aug. 4.
Clark said that she is proud of everything she has accomplished, including working to make B.C. the leader in Canada’s economy and creating more than 200,000 jobs.
“I am certain that British Columbia’s best days lie ahead,” she said in the statement.
She also called her government’s protection of the Great Bear Rainforest “British Columbia’s gift to the world.”
Clark, 51, led a come-from-behind victory in 2013, sweeping her party to a surprise win over the New Democrats.
But she couldn’t pull off a majority government in the election this May, winning just 43 of the 87 seats in the legislature for a minority government. The Liberals had been in power for 16 years.
The party lost a confidence vote in the legislature at the end of June.
Clark said that when she offered her resignation to Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon she tried to convince Guichon to call an election. Instead, the lieutenant-governor asked New Democrat Leader John Horgan to form the government.
The NDP, with 41 seats, formed a minority government with the support of the Greens, who won three seats. Horgan and his cabinet were sworn in last week.
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 that the party forced her out. “I’m shocked, and I think it’s sad that B.C. doesn’t get to have the benefit of Christy Clark for another few more years,” he said.
Green party Leader Andrew Weaver thanked Clark for her service, calling her a fierce advocate for the province.
Christy Clark said she is proud of everything she has accomplished.