The BC Liberal Party has elected Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond as the interim party leader.
According to a press release, Bond will fill the position until a leadership competition can be held.
“I appreciate the confidence and trust my colleagues have placed in me as we work together to hold John Horgan and the NDP government to account in the coming months,” said Bond. “I want to thank Andrew Wilkinson for his service as leader over the past several years and I look forward to continuing to work with him and our entire team of new and returning MLAs to present a positive vision for this province.”
Bond takes over the position from Andrew Wilkinson, who said he would step down following last month’s election that saw Premier John Horgan’s NDP win a decisive majority government.
Wilkinson announced in a Facebook post on Saturday, Nov. 21, that it was time for him to leave the role after close to three years.
He says he welcomes the selection of an interim leader by the party’s caucus as it looks to rebuild and renew, starting with what Wilkinson called “tough conversations and sincere reflections.”
The BC Liberal Caucus also appointed Stephanie Cadieux as their new Caucus Chair.
“As the Interim Leader of the Official Opposition, it’s now my duty to ensure that the voices of British Columbians from all across the province are heard by John Horgan and his NDP government. We will hold them to account for the decisions that impact us all,” added Bond. “In the coming days, I’ll be meeting with caucus members, appointing a leadership team, and assigning MLA critic portfolios. We have an excellent team of MLAs ready to get to work on behalf of their constituents and all British Columbians. We look forward to having the opportunity to return to the Legislature as soon as that is possible.”
The election on Oct. 24 saw the NDP win 57 of 87 seats, while the Liberals won 28 and the Greens held two.
The BC Liberal MLAs will be officially sworn in on November 27.
The B.C. legislature is set to return Dec. 7 for a brief session beginning with a throne speech focused on keeping people safe and the economy moving during the COVID-19 pandemic.