New Democrat interim leader Dawn Black issued the following statement this evening (February 26):
"As interim leader of the official Opposition, I want to offer my congratulations to Christy Clark on winning her party's leadership contest and on becoming the next Premier of British Columbia.
"British Columbia faces serious economic and social challenges that require the immediate attention of the new Premier-designate and her government.
"Our unemployment rate is higher anywhere west of the Atlantic Provinces. British Columbians are the most vulnerable among Canadians to an economic downturn. We continue to lead the nation in child poverty. And many British Columbians no longer feel they can trust their government to tell them the truth.
"Ms. Clark was a key member of the Campbell government and participated in some its most reckless decisions, like bringing in funding changes that led to the closure of a staggering 113 schools in B.C. And she's a strong supporter of the HST, a tax shift that's making it harder for families to make ends meet.
"Restoring trust in government will need to become her immediate priority.
"Today I call on Ms. Clark to begin that work by immediately calling MLAs back to the Legislature to take action on behalf of British Columbians.
"Specifically, she needs to table legislation moving up the HST referendum; establish an independent third party review of the $6 million payoff to the B.C. Liberal insiders in the B.C. Rail corruption trial; and, table a new budget that invests in people, creates jobs, and helps B.C. families make ends meet.
"I want to assure the new Premier-designate that the official Opposition is eager and ready to get down to work on these priorities.
"New Democrats will work with the B.C. Liberal government on issues where we agree and continue to provide British Columbians with a principled opposition that offers them a positive agenda for change."