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

Fire crews tend to a collision that is causing severe traffic delays on the William R. Bennett bridge headed east into Kelowna. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
7 vehicle collision on WR Bennett Bridge under investigation

The collision backed up traffic on the William R. Bennett bridge for much of the morning

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Interior Health hospitals not strained by rising COVID case counts

While provincial hospitalizations rise, health care systems in the B.C. Interior remain robust, say officials

Kelowna company celebrates milestone of producing 46 million masks in under a year.
46 million masks and counting: Kelowna company reaches 1 year milstone

In under a year, Breathe Manufacturing Ltd. in Kelowna has hit production of 46 million masks for front-line workers

Peachland’s vaccination clinic was cancelled because according to the system, no one booked appointments. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
System ‘glitch’ causes Peachland vaccination clinic cancellation

The clinic will be back in Peachland on April 22 instead

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A in Princeton

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a truck fire on Dallas Road in Vernon April 15, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
WATCH: Vernon firefighters quick to douse fully involved truck fire

The fire was near multiple structures and spreading along the ground upon crews’ arrival

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna RCMP investigating hit and run involving 11-year-old

Police said the boy suffered minor injuries

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Most Read