Dianne Watts will soon resign from her position as a Conservative MP and make a bid to lead the B.C. Liberal Party, Global News has reported.
The MP representing South Surrey-White Rock was elected to Parliament in 2015 and before that served as the mayor of Surrey from 2005 to 2014. Today she has a seat in the Conservative party’s shadow cabinet as critic for employment, workforce development, and labour.
Global News first reported on Watts’ intention to run for the B.C. Liberals leadership position Wednesday evening (September 20) in an article that did not state its source of the information. It follows weeks of speculation that suggested Watts might run and a report by CKNW earlier this month where Watts was quoted saying she was considering going for it.
The position of head of the B.C. Liberals was left vacant when former B.C. premier Christy Clark announced on July 31 that she was leaving politics.
Clark’s resignation followed a very close provincial election last May, when the Liberals won 43 seats to the NDP’s 41 and the Green’s three. The NDP and Greens passed a vote of no confidence that forced Clark from power on July 18. Then they formed a minority government with the NDP’s John Horgan named premier.
Global News reported Watts will make her candidacy official this Sunday (September 24).
Another Metro Vancouver politician, Andrew Wilkinson, is also expected to declare his intention to seek the B.C. Liberals leadership position this weekend.
Wilkinson is the Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena. He was first elected to the B.C. legislature in 2013 and previously served as the minister of advanced education, minister of technology, innovation, and citizens’ services, and, before that, deputy minister of economic development.