Former BC premier Christy Clark says she intends to resign

Former BC premier Christy Clark says she intends to resign

A day after Christy Clark announced she is resigning as BC Liberal leader, one of the party's MLAs says he is considering a run to replace her.

In a statement released Friday morning, Clark said she will be stepping down from the position, effective August 4. However, the party lost a non-confidence vote in June after the BC New Democrats and the Green Party made a pact to topple the Liberals and to support each other in confidence and supply votes.

Such a prospect has unnerved investors in Canada's third-most populous province, not least owners of oil and gas projects such as Kinder Morgan Inc's C$7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which the New Democratic Party (NDP) has vowed to halt.

In a second statement, this time to supporters, Clark said she was excited to see renewed engagement that she believes will strengthen the party.

Premier John Horgan will have six months to call by-election to fill her vacant seat in the legislature.

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"I'm shocked, and I think it's sad that B.C. doesn't get to have the benefit of Christy Clark for another few more years", he said, speaking to the Canadian Press by phone from Cranbrook.

"Me, as an individual, I will value her friendship for the rest of my life". To admit that the B.C. Liberals going forward will be better off without her as leader must have been even more hard.

"British Columbians expect us to be ready to go into a legislative session come September, so my caucus has asked me to step forward to lead the official opposition".

"She was struggling with what she wanted to do. I wish her all the best in her future endeavours", he said in a release.

"There was such an up-and-down momentum going there", Shypitka said, referencing the uncertainty from the election results to the NDP/Green agreement and the non-confidence vote. She has been a fierce advocate for British Columbia, here at home and around the world. This experience illustrated what we can achieve when members of this house work together.

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"Parties need to renew themselves", he said.

Liberal caucus members praised Ms. Clark on Friday, but the party will now face the necessity of picking a new leader to face the BC NDP government.

He said he is thinking about whether he has the time and energy to completely commit himself to leading the BC Liberals, who have had two leaders - Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark - since they began their 16-year run in government that recently ended.

Shypitka highlighted her legacy as being the first elected and re-elected female premier, and credited Clark for "almost single-handedly" winning the 2013 election, where pollsters had the NDP winning a majority.

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