Christy Clark requests dissolution of parliament before May's provincial election
Credit: Province of British Columbia

The former premier has left provincial politics by giving up her seat in Kelowna West

On Friday morning, former premier Christy Clark announced that she was stepping down as leader of the BC Liberal Party, effective August 4. That message was quickly followed by a statement from the BC Liberal caucus expressing disappointment that she was also resigning as MLA for Kelowna West. Clark became premier in 2011 and led her party to victory two years later, despite being defeated by now–NDP attorney general David Eby in Vancouver­–Point Grey. Her minority government fell in late June, ending 16 years of BC Liberal rule, having lost a non-confidence vote that saw NDP Leader John Horgan take over as premier. The BC Liberals have chosen East Langley MLA Rich Coleman as interim leader.

Clark, first elected to the B.C. legislature in 1996, has quit provincial politics before. The first time was in 2004, after she had served as deputy premier, minister of Children and Family Development, and minister of Education under Gordon Campbell. In 2005 she launched a failed bid to secure the Non-Partisan Association’s nomination as its candidate for mayor of Vancouver. Clark lost to Sam Sullivan, who won the mayoral race and is now a newly elected MLA. She went on to host a radio talk show on CKNW before winning the BC Liberal leadership in 2011.