Christy Clark to resign as leader of BC Liberal party next week
Christy Clark is resigning as the leader of the BC Liberal party, effective Friday August 4.
In a release today, Clark said serving as premier and serving the people of B.C. for the past six and a half years “has been an incredible honour and privilege.”
“I am so proud of everything our BC Liberal Team has accomplished. From working to make British Columbia Canada’s leading economy and creating more than 200,000 new jobs, to helping thousands of single parents go from welfare to work through the Single Parent Employment Initiative, to British Columbia’s gift to the world, the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest,” Clark states in the release.
LISTEN: A look back at Christy Clark’s career
“I am certain that British Columbia’s best days lie ahead. Because British Columbians can, through hard work, determination, and perseverance, achieve anything they set their minds to.”
Rich Coleman will be the Liberal Party interim leader.
WATCH: More videos from Christy Clark’s time in B.C. politics
Clark will also be stepping down as MLA for Kelowna-West.
Clark’s resignation comes after she stepped down as B.C.’s 35th premier at the end of June, marking the end of 16 years of BC Liberal rule in the province.
Following the election in May, Clark was sworn in as premier, leading the province’s first minority government in 65 years.
Voters elected 43 Liberals, 41 New Democrats and three Greens in a provincial election last month, leaving the Liberals one seat shy of a majority in the 87-seat legislature.
WATCH: Christy Clark has announced she is stepping down as leader of the BC Liberals. Legislative Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey has the details of what’s next.
But at the end of July, BC NDP leader John Horgan was sworn in as the 36th premier of B.C., heading up a minority government of 41 MLAs propped up by the BC Greens’ small three-member caucus, together outvoting the BC Liberals’ 43 MLAs. Clark had previously said she was willing to stay on as leader of the opposition.
Global News’ legislative bureau chief Keith Baldrey says it’s always difficult to determine what is a politician’s legacy on the day he or she leaves. But a number of things do stand out for Clark.
“More of the economic performance of her government, the job creation numbers were pretty positive, the balanced budgets were significant,” said Baldrey, speaking to CKNW. “Leaving the state of the books in fairly good health.”
“Having said that, there were some questionable moves that’ll be attributed to her standing in government associated with BC Hydro and ICBC. And ultimately, if it is continued to be built, the Site C dam will probably be the number one legacy of the Clark term in government.”
WATCH: Why is Christy Clark resigning now?
Clark was B.C.’s second female premier after Rita Johnston, and the first to have led her party to an election victory.
CKNW contributor Vaughn Palmer says Horgan now has six months to call a by-election.
“And the New Democrats now have an extra seat in the house and extra margin, because the Liberals are down to not 43, they’ll be down to 42,” added Palmer.
“Horgan can leave that seat vacant until January, the earliest he has to call a by-election, which means that the entire Liberal strategy that, ‘oh, we’re gonna be 44 and 43 and the government will fall, Clark’s thrown that under the bus as well’.”
-With files from Simon Little, CKNW
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