B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. VOTES 2020

Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson is stepping down after his party lost as many as 15 seats in the Oct. 24 provincial election.

Wilkinson made a brief statement to reporters Oct. 26, taking no questions about the party’s performance in the snap election called by NDP leader John Horgan a year before it was scheduled.

“Leading the B.C. Liberals has been a great honour, but now it’s time for me to make room for someone else to take over this role,” Wilkinson said. “I’ve asked the party president to work with the party executive to immediately determine the timeline for a leadership selection process to determine my successor as leader of the B.C. Liberals, and I will step down as leader as soon as the new leader is selected.”

NDP leader John Horgan thanked Wilkinson for his contribution to B.C., which included working as a deputy minister before being elected as an MLA and serving in cabinet and then leader of the official opposition.

“I’ve done that job, and I’ve often said it is the toughest job in politics,” Horgan said. “Mr. Wilkinson led the official opposition through a very challenging time for our province.”

Wilkinson said he will meet with the new caucus once the final vote count is completed, expected to be by Nov. 16. He noted that there are still about half a million mostly mail-in ballots to be counted, a record total that could change the outcome in several constituencies. Among them are Surrey South, where incumbent B.C. Liberal Stephanie Cadieux holds an 800-vote lead, and Surrey-White Rock where B.C. Liberal Trevor Halford emerged from election night just over 700 votes ahead of his NDP challenger.

RELATED: South Surrey, White Rock candidates await final count

RELATED: B.C. NDP’s majority came with historically low turnout

The B.C. Liberals lost long-time seats in Langley and Chilliwack this time around, and B.C. Liberal incumbent Jordan Sturdy was defeated in a close contest by B.C. Green Party candidate Jeremy Valeriote.

The election, called a year early by NDP leader John Horgan as he rode a wave of personal support from his government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, had one of the lowest turnouts on record in a B.C. general election. Only 52.4 per cent of eligible voters turned out, with more voting in advance polls than on election day as they avoided long lineups.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Just Posted

Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend organizer Connie Crocker. (Photo submitted)
Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend online June 19-21

Event’s been in the planning stages since February without knowing COVID implications

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley was passed up for a cabinet position by Premier John Horgan. (Photo submitted)
Op-Ed: Modernizing forestry and prioritizing reconciliation

Doug Routley writes on Fairy Creek and Central Walbran Valley old growth deferrals

The log retaining wall that supports the access road to the Ladysmith Community Marina is failing and needs to be replaced. (Cole Schisler photo)
Remediation work for community marina access road expected to be costly

A log retaining wall between the access road and the parking area is failing and must be replaced

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Ladysmith Harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water harbour, none of them threatening

More and more graffiti has appeared in Ladysmith’s downtown core during the pandemic. (Cole Schisler photo)
Council creates rebate program to encourage graffiti clean up

Property owners can receive up to $50 to help fund graffiti removal

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Photos displayed at a vigil for former Nanaimo outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found June 3 and whose death RCMP are investigating as a homicide. (News Bulletin photo)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

Most Read