Andrew Wilkinson celebrates Saturday after being chosen the next leader of the B.C. Liberal Party. (BLACK PRESS file photo)

Editorial: B.C. Liberals choose their direction

With Andrew Wilkinson elected party leader, the B.C. Liberals have chosen a course correction

The B.C. Liberals have gone with a course correction, rather than an all-new direction.

British Columbia’s political landscape changed a little bit this past weekend with the election of Andrew Wilkinson as the next leader of the B.C. Liberal Party.

He was considered a contender throughout the race, but the outcome was very much in doubt until the final balloting on Saturday, when he surged ahead of runner-up Dianne Watts.

RELATED: Andrew Wilkinson takes B.C. Liberal leadership

Wilkinson may be newly minted as leader, but he’s strongly linked to the last Liberal government in which he served as Minister of Advanced Education and Attorney-General.

He was endorsed in the leadership race from the start by Michelle Stilwell, Parskville-Qualicum MLA, who suggested that his experience, intelligence and other leadership qualities made him the right person to head the party.

Party members seemed to offer mixed messages over the course of Saturday night. Mike de Jong and Todd Stone, both of whom headed high-profile ministries under former Premier Christy Clark, fell off the ballot earlier than later, signalling there was some desire for a refreshed look for the party.

It remains to be seen if Wilkinson provides that. Within the leadership race he talked a lot about fiscal responsibility and sought to separate himself from the other candidates that way; in a provincial election race, British Columbians can probably expect more of the same. He’ll also be able to draw on some of what his fellow leadership candidates brought to the conversation these past few months.

For a party that was searching for a new leader, the B.C. Liberals were in a relatively enviable position. They had won the most seats in the last election and certainly hadn’t been wholly rejected by voters. Maybe they didn’t need an entirely new direction, just direction.

As Wilkinson settles into his new role and B.C.’s Opposition becomes election-ready once again, it adds a level of accountability to the legislature.

All parties are prepared, now, for whatever’s next in B.C. politics.

Just Posted

Silly boats make a splash on Nanaimo seas

Superette wins Nanaimo’s Silly Boat Regatta community fundraising event

Redliners park their rides for charity car show in Nanaimo

The Redliners Charity Car Show continues until 3 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at Country Club Centre

Florist announces bid for Nanaimo city council

Jim Turley, former owner of Turley’s Florist, intends to run in fall election

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

St. Andrew’s United Church celebrates 125th anniversary

Church on Fitzwilliam Street in Nanaimo to hold event July 18 to recognize milestone

VIDEO: Firefighters putting out brush fire in East Wellington

Fire is in the area of a new development under construction near Shady Mile Way

Motorcyclist dies as fire, crash happen at the same time on Nanaimo Parkway

Young male motorcycle rider collides with one vehicle, then struck by another

Development permit approved for condo project near Millstone River

Six-storey building planned for Barsby Avenue

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Driver angry after accident at north Nanaimo intersection

One patient taken to hospital after crash Friday at Enterprise Way and the old Island Highway

VIDEO: Silly Boat sailors serious about trying to win regatta

Soggy Bottoms 4Kids, a Protection Island Lions Club entry, hope to take Nanaimo Silly Boat title

Most Read