Lake says premier should not resign
Kamloops-North Thompson MLA and Environment Minister Terry Lake says Premier Christy Clark is the right person to lead the B.C. Liberal Party into the May 14 election, despite calls for her resignation over a leaked strategy to court ethnic voters.
The memo, released on Feb. 27 by the B.C. NDP, lists a number of steps to “re-engage with ethnic voters,” from recruiting “validators” who can call non-English radio programs to respond to attacks on the party to identifying “historical failures of the NDP government on multicultural issues.”
Another section of the 17-page document advises the government to use apologies for historical wrongs as “quick wins” to connect with ethnic groups.
The memo also suggests the party use government resources for the project.
The plan has sparked anger in the Lower Mainland, particularly Surrey, where a group of Liberal party members has called for Clark’s resignation.
But, Lake said, that’s not going to happen.
“I don’t think it’s something that we would consider and it’s something cabinet certainly doesn’t want to see happen,” he said.
“If people are looking for perfection, we could have any number of people lead this party, but no one is perfect. And what I’ve told people is no one cares more about this province, or works harder for this province, than Christy Clark. I think people are very hard on her.”
Cabinet ministers are “100 per cent supportive,” after meeting with Clark on Sunday, March 2, Lake said.
“I believe we’ll come out of today [Monday] to the budget vote tomorrow [Tuesday] as one,” Lake said. “I really believe they feel the same way I do, that we want to work hard and do the best for British Columbians.”
Lake said the language in the memo isn’t a reflection of the Liberal government.
“Obviously, this is not right, when you have things like the type of language we saw about apologies being ‘quick wins,’” he said.
“That’s ridiculous, and we know that apologies like we did to the Japanese interment situation, and the same with the Chinese head tax, should be authentic and meaningful.”
Todd Stone, the B.C. Liberal candidate to replace outgoing MLA Kevin Krueger in Kamloops-South Thompson, is also concerned by the memo.
But, he refused to say whether Clark should resign if an investigation being conducted by deputy minister John Dyble finds taxpayer funds were misused.
“I think we need to get the details, get the facts and the premier will take appropriate action at that point,” he said.
Stone said his own campaign team works closely with Kamloops’ ethnic groups and he doesn’t think those relationships will be strained by the memo.
“I certainly don’t believe it in any way means the efforts, the very sincere and honest efforts of our campaign team and the many folks from different multi-cultural communities in Kamloops who are supporting my campaign, I don’t believe it calls into question or colours the motives of anyone locally,” he said.