This morning BC’s premier, Gordon Campbell resigned. Premier Gordon Campbell issued the following statement today:
“After considerable soul searching and discussion with my family I have decided to ask the BC Liberal Party executive to hold a leadership convention at the earliest possible date to select a new leader for our party.
“Over the last few weeks, our government has continued to move forward with initiatives that will create jobs, build a stronger economy and support families across British Columbia. We made the second-largest reduction in personal income taxes in B.C. history. We launched new initiatives that will tailor our education system so that children get the best possible opportunity to succeed.
“Yet it is clear to me that those initiatives are being overshadowed. When public debate becomes focused on one person, instead of what is in the best interest of British Columbians, we have lost sight about what is important. When that happens, it’s time for a change.
“This decision is what I believe is in the best interest of British Columbia, our government, our party and the people of our province. At a time like this, everyone’s attention should be focused on helping our economy rebound from the global recession and moving forward with an agenda that families can see is in their long-term interest.
“It’s time for a new person to lead. I am asking the party to move as quickly as possible to organize a leadership convention. I intend to ensure a smooth and orderly transition. My goal is to return public attention to what is important to British Columbians – their jobs, their families and how government can best support them.
“That is what the decision on the HST was all about. I hope that my announcement today will allow British Columbians to move forward and fully consider the HST and the alternative on their merits between now and September 2011.
“It’s not always popular to do what you believe in your heart is right. But whether it was restoring B.C.’s economic leadership, leading the way on climate action, building a new relationship with First Nations, getting our fiscal house in order, opening up our Pacific Gateway or making our taxation system one of the most competitive in North America, it was always worth the effort and I am proud of what we’ve accomplished together.
“I want to thank all of those who have supported me and my government through one of the most exciting yet challenging times in our province’s history. I want to thank my colleagues and those who stood for election. I want to thank the dedicated workers in the public service who have led B.C. in so many ways. I want to thank the people of British Columbia for the opportunity to serve.
“And finally, if you will allow me a personal note, I want to thank all my family, especially my wife Nancy. They all paid a price for my 26 years in public service. Politics can be a very nasty business and at times that spilled over, through no fault of their own, to all of my family. I am sorry for that and I want to thank them all for their support and love.
“I have always felt public life is important. It is what defines us as British Columbians and as Canadians. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to serve in this position longer than most of my predecessors and to have been a part of this incredible time in B.C. history.
“It’s been quite a run and more fun than not. I have always been motivated by what is best for this great province and this great country.
“Thank you. It’s been a privilege.”