Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok has made no secret as to who he would like to see leading the BC Liberal Party. His choice is Andrew Wilkinson, the MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena, former Minister of Advanced Education.
It’s not a choice he made lightly, Clovechok says.
“I spent time with all the candidates,” he said. “I did my homework before I picked Andrew.”
The last time the BC Liberals held a leadership race, Clovechok says he didn’t really take the time to get to know Christy Clark and didn’t endorse her. That proved to be a mistake, given the leader she turned out to be, he said. This time he made sure he spoke to all of them.
Clovechok says he appreciates the depth of choice there is for leader of his party.
“You know John Horgan became leader of the NDP by default. No one really wanted the job. We’ve got some really talented people who want to be leader. But I firmly believe Andrew is the guy. He’s personable, he’s really really smart and has lots of experience. He’s incredibly capable and his platform is strong.”
The leadership race is entering its final months, with voting taking place the first days of February.
Clovechok says he will welcome Wilkinson to the Columbia River Revelstoke riding some time in January so people will have an opportunity to meet him.
It’s particularly important for people to meet him in this area, Clovechok says, as Wilkinson is the Party’s “unofficial expert” on the proposed electoral reform, something that could have a profound affect on this riding.
“We need to make sure people are informed on Pro Rep,” Clovehock said. “Obviously, we are not in favour of it. It doesn’t work. It will really skew the ability of rural BC to have a say. Because it’s representation by population, you’ll have these huge ridings — the Kootenays lumped in with the Okanagan. People won’t even know who their MLA is and the MLA won’t know the issues in all parts of his or her riding.”
Clovechok is also concerned with the entire process around the coming referendum on Pro Rep. He attempted to add an amendment to the government’s bill around it but was not successful in having it passed.
“My amendment was to make it a simple yes or no question. It was defeated. There are big problems with this process. It’s unfair to BC.”
Clovechok encourages British Columbians to get involved in the Party leadership election.
“You can go out and get a $10 membership online until December 28. Then you have an opportunity to vote.”