Christy Clark thanks BC Liberal party members after announcing looming resignation

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Langley East MLA Rich Coleman has been named the interim leader of B.C.'s official opposition following Friday's announcement by Christy Clark that she will step down as leader of the BC Liberal Party.

She took responsibility for not delivering a majority - the sole job of the party leader during an election campaign - particularly when the Liberals were loaded with cash, were leading in the polls and boasted the best provincial economy in the country.

Coleman, standing in front of the BC Liberal caucus and fighting back tears, said the party's executive has 28 days to announce its plan to find a new leader. Clark stepped down as premier after her government lost the confidence vote. The party confirmed that Clark will also be resigning her seat in the legislature, but her last day is not yet known.

"Today we thank Christy Clark for her service to British Columbia". Judith Guichon she tried to convince Guichon to call an election.

"I was very emotional and surprised, absolutely, because I love her as a leader". It may have taken her a while to get there but she did the right thing in the end.

She wrote that she was proud of everything her team accomplished during her time with the party, which she's represented in the legislature since 1996. Her final accomplishment, however, was the courage to step down, certainly not when or how she wanted to but when it was the responsible thing to do.

Clark's resignation follows the Liberal's minority election victory being stripped away in June by a non-confidence vote supported by the B.C. Green and NDP parties.

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Clark's Liberals governed British Columbia for a total of 5,869 days or 16 years.

"I thought that she would stick around, see if the NDP can pass a couple of budgets", the University of the Fraser Valley professor said. In that light, the expected move going forward would have been for her to torment Horgan and his new government mercilessly, forcing it to crumble and triggering another election either this fall or early next year, all for another chance to be premier.

"She's obviously done some soul-searching and she knows this party is in good hands; we're really deep with the people that we have in the party and she put it out there that she thinks the long term benefit to the party is if she steps aside".

Instead, she finally did the principled thing and resigned.

She also called her government's protection of the Great Bear Rainforest "British Columbia's gift to the world".

Liberal caucus members praised Ms. Clark on Friday, but the party will now face the necessity of picking a new leader to face the BC NDP government. "You don't need to look any further to what she did for this remarkable province and we are the best province in all of Canada".