Mike Bernier has scheduled a news conference for Monday (September 25), making it all but official that he’s running for leadership of the B.C. Liberal Party.
The Liberal MLA for Peace River South was first elected to the provincial legislature in 2013 and has served as the minister of education and parliamentary secretary for energy literacy and the environment. Before entering provincial politics, he was the mayor of Dawson Creek.
Bernier is the third politician to schedule a media event for what is believed to be an announcement of a bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership.
Last night (September 20), Global News reported that former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts would officially declare her candidacy this Sunday (September 24).
Watts is a federal Conservative MP representing South Surrey-White Rock and will have to resign from that position. She 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.
Another Metro Vancouver politician, Andrew Wilkinson, is also expected to declare his intention to seek the B.C. Liberal 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.
The position of head of the B.C. Liberals was left vacant when former 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 nonconfidence vote that forced Clark from power on July 18. The parties then formed a minority government with the NDP’s John Horgan named premier.
The leader of the B.C. Liberals will be selected via an internal party vote, with the winner scheduled to be announced on February 4, 2018, at a convention in Vancouver.