KAMLOOPS — It is at the same time both surprising and not surprising to hear Terry Lake won't run in next spring's election.
Lake is energetic and ambitious, and well-thought of within his party.
When he was plucked out of local politics by Gordon Campbell in 2009, it was thought Lake might eventually be a party leader.
But eight years into his career, there is no clear path to the party leadership for Lake.
Christy Clark and the BC Liberals are poised to win a fifth straight mandate come next spring, and that means there will be little pressure for Clark to go anywhere.
There are rumblings in Victoria that Lake wasn't happy as health minister, though he never said so publicly.
And who could blame him?
Health is a money pit of a ministry, one that will seemingly never have enough funding to solve its myriad problems.
Not only that, Lake was hung with the ill-advised promise made by a predecessor, that the Liberal government would ensure every British Columbian would have a family doctor.
It seems the province is further from seeing that promise realized than ever.
Terry Lake is a hard worker and a straight shooter.
As a reporter, Lake would address issues head-on, and if he didn't have an answer at his fingertips, he would simply say "I don't know" and get back to you when he had it.
As a regular old British Columbian, it may have been easy to dislike the party he represented at times, but it was always much harder to dislike Lake himself.
The biggest compliment may be that Lake always represented Kamloops, and when it was time for major capital investment in NorKam Secondary or our hospital, he made sure those projects were not put off.
No matter who represents Kamloops-North Thompson next, regardless of party or personality, that should be their number one aspiration.