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Former BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson set to resign as an MLA

Click to play video: 'Kevin Falcon settling in to new job as BC Liberals leader' Kevin Falcon settling in to new job as BC Liberals leader
Members of the BC Liberal party voted in Kevin Falcon as their leader this past weekend. He may just be starting out in his new role as head of the opposition party, but he isn't new to politics. Richard Zussman has more. – Feb 7, 2022

The door is now open for new B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon to win back a seat in the B.C. Legislature.

Former leader Andrew Wilkinson is set to step down as the MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena. It is still unclear exactly when he will officially resign, but once he does, the government will have up to six months to call a by-election.

Wilkinson stepped down as Liberal leader in October 2020 following a crushing election defeat but he did not formally resign from the position until February 2021.

Read more: Andrew Wilkinson formally resigns as BC Liberal leader months after election defeat

The Liberals won 28 seats in the 2020 provincial election, down from 43 seats in 2017. Wilkinson won a hotly contested leadership in 2018 to replace former premier Christy Clark.

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Under Wilkinson’s leadership, the B.C. Liberals won 33.8 per cent of the vote in the last election down from 40.4 per cent in 2017.

On Saturday night, the party elected Falcon as its new leader.

Click to play video: 'Focus BC: BC Liberals elect Kevin Falcon as new party leader' Focus BC: BC Liberals elect Kevin Falcon as new party leader
Focus BC: BC Liberals elect Kevin Falcon as new party leader – Feb 6, 2022

The former deputy premier secured victory on the fifth ballot. MLA Ellis Ross finished second and MLA Michael Lee finished third.

Falcon will now be focused on rebuilding the BC Liberals both in the Legislature and across the province. He is expected to speak to reporters at 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

In an interview following his win, Falcon said he planned on meeting with Wilkinson Monday. The former leader offered to step down as an MLA before Falcon asked him to do so.

“As a former MLA I still have the right to sit in the legislature itself. To participate I have to have a seat and those discussions will be happening in the weeks ahead,” Falcon said.

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