VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson is immediately leaving his role and is welcoming the selection of a new interim leader.
In a lengthy Facebook post Saturday, Wilkinson made the announcement saying, “It is now time for me to leave the role of Opposition Leader.”
British Columbia is an exciting place, full of dynamic people and so many opportunities. Taking on a leadership position…
Wilkinson announced his intention to pass on the BC Liberal leadership shortly after the party’s significant setback in October’s election.
“It is now time for me to leave the role of Opposition Leader, as the voters of British Columbia have made their preference clear. In doing so, I welcome the selection of an interim leader from our caucus and will fully support her or him as our caucus prepares to act as the Official Opposition once again.”
Over the past few months, the party faced criticism when a video emerged of the Liberal party candidates –including Wikinson– laughing at misogynic comments about an NDP opponent.
And last week, Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite criticized Wilkinson for throwing her under the bus after she made the sexist comments about an NDP MLA.
Thornthwaite said exposed a double standard between the treatment of men and women.
“Different standards existed for female colleagues and staff, depending on how useful we were perceived to be. Clearly this was my moment to be told I was now useless to the team,” Thornthwaite said.
A now-former Liberal candidate also made controversial remarks when he compared the NDP’s free birth control plan to “a whiff of eugenics.”
In Wilkinson’s announcement, he said it’s time for the party to “rebuild and renew — and that starts with tough conversations and sincere reflections.”
“New conversations are happening about what is important to people now. Things like access to housing that works for the different ways that people live their lives. Affordable and efficient transportation and quality healthcare must be a priority for every government going forward. Equality and opportunity for everyone and protection of LGTBQ2S rights need to be integral parts of policies and plans throughout government, because these are fundamental to the fairness and equality that we all seek,” he said.
“I know I’ve had many of those myself in recent weeks and I know there are many more to come for all of us as we work toward a leadership race that will define our new leader, and our positions and profile heading into the next election,” Wilkinson added.