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Kelowna  

5. Christy rides into sunset

The ink had barely dried on the transfer of power in the B.C. legislature, when Christy Clark bid a fond farewell.

Clark, who had been replaced by NDP Leader John Horgan as premier on July 18, after six years of guiding the province, left the provincial arena for good.

Clark announced at party meetings in Penticton July 28 she would step down as both leader of the BC Liberal Party and MLA for Kelowna West effective Aug. 4

Her resignation ended a rocky six-year, love-hate relationship with the voters of the province. For much of her time in power, Clark continually had one of the lowest approval ratings among premiers in the country.

Clark was elected leader and became premier in 2011 after Gordon Campbell stepped down.

She won a byelection in Vancouver-Point Grey, but lost that seat to David Eby during the 2013 general election, in which the Liberals pulled out a last-minute win against poll predictions.

In order to take her place in the legislature, Clark needed a 'safe' Liberal riding to run in. Enter Ben Stewart, who had won re-election in Westside-Kelowna. He stepped down, giving Clark the opportunity to seek the seat in a byelection.

Clark won the seat easily, and upon her election, announced several million dollars in funding to improve Westside Road.

During her time as MLA, Clark also secured funding to mitigate the constant flooding of McDougal Creek, and helped secure a commitment from BC Hydro to bring a second transmission line into West Kelowna.

In 2017, the Clark-led Liberals ran a re-election campaign based on strong fiscal management, balanced budgets and a triple A credit rating. The strategy didn't work. The Liberals fell one seat short of a majority.

Clark attempted to work out a deal with the Green Party, which held the balance of power, but, instead, the Greens and NDP worked out a deal.

Her government lost a confidence motion June 29. Clark asked the Lieutenant-Governor to call an election, but instead, the NDP were asked to govern.

Clark did not speak publicly upon resigning. In a statement, she said serving the people of B.C. had been an honour and a privilege.

“I am so proud of everything our BC Liberal team has accomplished. From working to make British Columbia Canada’s leading economy and creating more than 200,000 new jobs, to helping thousands of single parents go from welfare to work through the Single Parent Employee Initiative, to British Columbia’s gift to the world, the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest,” the statement said.



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