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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Gerry Thiessen (left) with his spouse Lesley is encouraging others to sign up to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Both have recently received their first shot. (Photo submitted)
Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen encourages others to get vaccinated

“If not for yourself, please do it for others in our community.”

Timothy Reimer lives in Vanderhoof and is a member of the Spruce City Wildlife Association, which has been working with removing trash from regional areas through its BackCountry Cleanups Initiative.
Local Spruce City Wildlife Association member helps keep the environment clean

Father and Plateau mill employee cares about future generations

CN Rail locomotives are moved on tracks past cargo containers sitting on idle train cars at port in Vancouver last February. RCMP in Northern, B.C. are currently investigating after a CN Freight Train struck some debris that appeared to be intentionally placed across the track on the Nechako River Bridge in Fraser Lake (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Freight Train strikes debris on Nechako River Bridge: RCMP

Intentionally placed debris could have resulted in a disaster

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

A black bear made a visit to downtown Vancouver Tuesday, May 4. The animal was spotted on train tracks in Gastown shortly after at 2:30 p.m. (Twitter/Craig Minielly)
VIDEO: Black bear spotted meandering around downtown Vancouver

The bear was reportedly tranquilized by conservation officers Tuesday afternoon

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Most Read