Christy Clark resigns in British Columbia

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MLA Dan Ashton said it was a hard morning as former Premier Christy Clark announced she was not only stepping down as leader of the B.C. Liberals but resigning her seat as well.

Clark decision to resign as party leader comes after the Liberals narrowly won the provincial election but lost a non-confidence vote in the Legislature which led to the NDP forming power. Despite her assurances that she would not ask Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon to call another election, she did exactly that after the Liberals lost the confidence vote in the legislature.

Clark was born to a politically active family and took an early interest in it, helping with her father's unsuccessful campaigns as a child and later getting involved in student politics at university. Judith Guichon she tried to convince Guichon to call an election.

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"I'm shocked, and I think it's sad that B.C. doesn't get to have the benefit of Christy Clark for another few more years", he said, speaking to the Canadian Press by phone from Cranbrook. "She has been the premier who took British Columbia and put it on the world map".

The announcement was unexpected, according to Ashton, coming out as the B.C. Liberal caucus met in Penticton. Her final accomplishment, however, was the courage to step down, certainly not when or how she wanted to but when it was the responsible thing to do. Sharon White, president of the B.C. Liberals, said there will be a meeting of the party executive within 28 days to set a date and plan for a leadership vote. The NDP- Green alliance had a slim 44-43 vote edge over the Liberals that will widen to 44-42 until Clark is replaced. "You're going to see a remarkable opposition", he said.

He said the almost 50 per cent cut in salary from about $200,000 as premier to $100,000 as MLA was also likjely a factor in her choice to resign. In that light, the expected move going forward would have been for her to torment Horgan and his new government mercilessly, forcing it to crumble and triggering another election either this fall or early next year, all for another chance to be premier. This experience illustrated what we can achieve when members of this house work together.

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He said he is thinking about whether he has the time and energy to completely commit himself to leading the BC Liberals, who have had two leaders - Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark - since they began their 16-year run in government that recently ended. "You don't need to look any further to what she did for this remarkable province and we are the best province in all of Canada".

Liberal caucus members praised Ms. Clark on Friday, but the party will now face the necessity of picking a new leader to face the BC NDP government.

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