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

Aidan See played for the North Island Silvertips during the 2019-2020 season. (PHOTO COURTESY RON HAYES)
VIJHL: Port Alberni Bombers add hometown talent to roster

Junior B hockey club signs Aidan See, Blake Power and Grayson Erickson

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read