One of the perceived front runners for the BC Liberal Party leadership has announced he’s not interested in the job.
Former transportation Minister Todd Stone says he had been considering a leadership bid, but has decided the right decision for his family is not to run.
“While skiing with all three of my daughters over the recent holidays, I was struck by the reality that within the next few years, two of them may be off at university and that this period of our lives with all of us together at home is nearer the end than the beginning,” Stone wrote in a Facebook post.
“I realized at that moment — in my heart — that the right decision for me and my family is to not enter this leadership race.”
Stone has been an MLA since 2013 and served in Christy Clark’s cabinet. He finished fourth in the 2018 BC Liberal leadership won by Andrew Wilkinson.
Wilkinson resigned following the 2020 B.C. provincial election. The party won 28 seats, the worst result for the BC Liberals since 1991.
The party has not yet outlined the rules for the upcoming leadership race or when the party will select its new leader.
Former Liberal finance minister Kevin Falcon is seen as the front runner, and is building a leadership team. He has not yet formally announced whether he is running.
MLAs Michael Lee, Ellis Ross and Renee Merrifield are all considering a leadership bid. Former MLA Jas Johal has yet to rule a run out.
The BC Liberals are in the midst of trying to rebuild. The party has not hired an executive director and Shirley Bond is currently serving as the interim leader.
“As a party coming off our worst election result in three decades, we need to engage in a meaningful and transparent manner with British Columbians across the province and listen to what they have to say,” Stone said.
“This includes connecting with those for whom our party is no longer relevant. We must challenge ourselves to inspire more women and young people to join us, and to ensure our party reflects British Columbia’s incredible diversity. BIPOC members, LGBTQ members. Young and old, urban and rural, coastal and interior.”