Former MLAs praise Christy Clark, say it's time for a change

By Jill Sperling
July 28, 2017 - 4:25pm Updated: July 28, 2017 - 5:57pm

KAMLOOPS — Former B.C. premier Christy Clark announced her intention to resign today. 

It's a decision that will call for a new leader to rise up in the Liberal Party. Clark was a divisive figure in the last election, and even while she was elected she couldn't manage to hold onto power against an NDP-Green Party alliance. 

Clark's announcement to leave provincial politics comes 10 after NDP leader John Horgan was sworn in as premier. 

"I think renewal for any party is good," said former MLA Terry Lake. "After 16 years as government I think having a new leader and new people come on board is a positive thing for the party, and I think it will be received in that way by British Columbians." 

Lake says he was surprised to hear of Clark's resignation, however he feels it was a decision she made in order to better her province and party. 

Lake didn't always back Clark, during the 2011 Liberal leadership race he threw his support behind George Abbott. 

"I didn't know Christy Clark when she first ran for leadership, obviously she brought me into cabinet as Environment Minister, then Health Minister and I got to know her very well, and grew to admire her tremendously, not that we always agreed."

Lake wasn't the only liberal who was initially a bit leery of Clark. 

"We had concerns about moving too fast," said former MLA and cabinet minister Kevin Krueger, "and maybe not being inclusive enough, and that sort of thing, but bygones are bygones. She worked really hard, she did make sure that we continued to have the same excellent track record the BC Liberals had earned over the years."

Rich Coleman will step into the role of interim leader when Clark steps away on Aug. 4, but it's only a matter of time before the leadership race heats up. 

"You know, there's a lot of good people, a lot of very smart, very dedicated people that will step up and run," Lake said. "I'll be interested to see who does step up, and whether I get involved or not in a campaign remains to be seen."

Krueger says he would throw his support behind Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone.

"Todd hasn't declared, I think he probably will, but I'm declaring I'm in his camp, and trusting that we'll get the best person, and I think it will be Todd Stone," Krueger said. 

Whoever succeeds Clark as Liberal leader is sure to face some big challenges, including the next election.

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