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Wilkinson Begins Journey Carrying Heavy Baggage

February 5th, 2018 · 27 Comments

Andrew Wilkinson … the “new” BC Liberal leader … faces a hard uphill battle gaining confidence of British Columbians as anything more than another version of Christy Clark or Gordon Campbell … both of whom were ultimately disdained and rejected by the voters.

Because in his acceptance speech, he made it sound as he’ll be just more of the same.

It took FIVE rounds of voting for Wilkinson to muster 53.1% support of Liberal votes … not really an enthusiastic endorsement or victory; he’s a former Liberal Party President; long time Liberal party organizer; Advanced Education Minister in then Premier Christy Clark’s government;and, according to news reports he has promised “to carry on the work” of both Clark and Campbell.

“That is the heritage we have to build on as a party. That is where we came from and that is what we have to honour and respect,” Wilkinson told party delegates.


BC Hydro?  ICBC?  BC Rail? Mount Polley? Health Ministry firings? Child poverty figures? Hospital wait times? HST?  MSP premiums… BC the ONLY province still charging them?

Seems to me the Liberals holding true to the principles behind the “history” of Campbell and Clark is exactly why they are now in Opposition.

Where is the “new” leader with “new”  ideas to take the party and BC in a “new” direction?

Surely it will not be lost on the NDP government, NDP strategists and many British Columbians that what finally propelled Wilkinson to his narrow “victory” was the support of  rival candidate Mike De Jong … you know, De Jong who was Health Minister when those seven health ministry officials were unjustly and savagely fired; you know, De Jong, who was Finance Minister under Clark when British Columbians were  misinformed about the state of the province’s finances …to the tune of more than $1.5 Billion.

Will De Jong have ANY significant role in Wilkinson’s “new” Liberals?

Maybe the “new” Liberal leader should recall what the CBC (and other media) reported June 28:

“On what could be the B.C. Liberal Party’s final full day in office before being voted out of government, Finance Minister Mike de Jong provided an unaudited fiscal update showing the province’s economic health was better than anticipated,” the CBC reported.

“The government had a $2.8 billion surplus in 2016/2017 — significantly higher than the $1.5 billion predicted in February’s budget.”

I, for one, always wondered how budget calculations, only weeks apart, could be so substantially different? Bad calculations? New information? Or maybe the Liberals had been deliberately hiding the truth during the election campaign?

Wilkinson would be better advised to cut the strings to the party’s recent past … distance himself completely from Clark and especially Campbell …. not vow to continue their legacy.

Especially in light of the latest polls.

A Mainstreet poll in late January showed the NDP, with 38.5% public support,  leading the Liberals by five full points: including a 9% lead amongst women; and, a 15% lead in Greater Vancouver. The Greens polled 27.6% support…showing the NDP/Green partnership still presents a formidable challenge for Wilkinson and the Liberals.

But true to form, the Liberals still hold popular support in the interior of the province, where the NDP come in third, behind even the Greens.

Love it!  🙂

Should be an interesting six months ahead for political junkies in BC.

And can hardly wait for any polling done around Labour Day, or beyond.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get First Alerts to all topics/discussions on this blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter.  No spam…just First Alerts to all new blog topics.)





Tags: British Columbia

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gary T // Feb 5, 2018 at 11:31 am

    None of the candidates were inspiring. I originally thought that Wilkinson was the best of a bad batch until his speech citing Campbell, and Clark. If the NDP get with the program, and stay there, they should have no trouble defeating this party of retreads. I am also extremely happy that Watts was shuffled to the curb. She is only allied with developers pushing expensive projects that are not needed. Stones statement that the Liberals could now defeat the NDP shows that this bunch only wants to be in power, not work for the people.

  • 2 D. M. Johnston // Feb 5, 2018 at 11:52 am

    The Liberals are a throw back to Tammany Hall politics, now coined “Pay to Play”

    Real Liberals did not like Campbell of Clark, because they were Liberals in name only.

    Campbell was a populist who funded by those who wanted BC’s infrastructure.

    BC Rail – saw a political crony get control at a fire sale price.

    The TFN Agreement – was a ruse to get land out of the ALR and into the hands of political friends.

    Political friends in the media got rid of Rafe Mair and minimized the Maui woowie.

    Campbell sold out the province until he stepped too far with the HST and was replaced by the top grifter of all.

    I think Wilkinson will get elected as premier as Horgan sinks ever lower in the political morass, Clark and Co. Including Wilkinson left.

    If i were Horgan, I would start a Criminal investigation of all of Campbell’s and Clark’s deals and investigate those who profited.

    Of course he won’t because Liberal operatives in the NDP will ensure it never happens, paving the way for more Liberal corruption in three years time.

    Horgan will be a one term wonder and the criminal enterprises that laundered drug monies in BC, will just have to wait 3 more years, until it will be business as usual time.

  • 3 Steve Cooley // Feb 5, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    A ranked ballot is not proportional representation. A ranked ballot does give the prize to the most popular candidate. A ranked ballot is a step better than first past the post. Each MLA elected by a ranked ballot, with disclosure of each step in the counting process, will give us MLAs who have either primary support or the primary plus secondary support of the majority of their constituents. Disclosure of each steps will tell both us and them where they stand.

  • 4 Gene the Bean // Feb 5, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Lipstick, meet pig.

    Only a completely deranged sycophantic ideolog would mention both Campbell and Clark, let alone want to emulate them.

    Just like a few here, they just don’t get it.

    Maybe it has something to do with the lack of morals…???

  • 5 Chuckstraight // Feb 5, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Maybe Ben Stewart, if elected, could give up his seat for Dianne Watts?

  • 6 Bill // Feb 5, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Chuck Straight wins todays Distinguished Swirling Toilet trophy for comment of the day. Too tru too funny.

  • 7 Harry lawson // Feb 5, 2018 at 3:11 pm


    The NDP must be dancing a jig, a fresh face leader and a Liberal party house cleaning could have given the NDP some sleepless nights. Wilkinson while voting with cabinet , is now going have to wear those decisions. How many other cabinet ministers had briefs and reports altered by others in cabinet before receiving them ? If DeJong has a role in a shadow cabinet then Wilkinson is condoning such behaviour.

    Wilkinson could be the last leader of the BC Liberals as goes the way of the Social Credit party the choice is his .

  • 8 !? // Feb 5, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    The best coverage I have seen so far is from the Straight’s Charlie Smith:

    “Why Andrew Wilkinson should not be underestimated by progressive British Columbians”

    Martyn Brown has a good account too, but it is not nearly as compelling as Charlie Smith’s.

  • 9 Hugh // Feb 5, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    I agree Harvey. BC is fed up with the BC Liberal Dumpster Fire Money-Laundering Party.

  • 10 13.. // Feb 5, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Well here we go. I voted for Watts, Lee and Wilkinson. I did not get change but I did get the best of the rest. But Unlike many that worry about others morality I accept the democratic process and wish the smarter Andrew much success. He will be able to question the honorable Horgan about many things.
    Eby kinda blew it when he admited that even if the NDP replaced the Billions the Liberals reallocated from ICBC the poorly managed insurance corp would be right back in debt in one year. I wonder how many managers it takes to lose 3.5 million a day. Find the BCR buyer and lease him ICBC for 1000 years.
    Wilkinson needs to find a job for Watts and a ministry for Lee.
    He needs to not only defeat the proportional referendum but to turn this thinly veiled bit of bribery / payoff to the greens into an election issue. Deep down even Horgan must want it to fail. Horgan must have had enough of Weavers endless pontificating by now. Weaver = blowhard.

  • 11 Rocker Rich // Feb 5, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Other than being an academic high achiever (degrees in law and medicine), Andrew Wilkinson doesn’t imprint on me…except for being grey. As in Gordon Campbell grey. And as we all remember with Gordo, being bright—while keeping feelings like anger and resentment close to the vest—doesn’t guarantee good outcomes for British Columbians if that person attains power.

  • 12 Keith // Feb 6, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Agree with your thoughts Harvey, also the small matter of doubling the provincial debt, but for all that, the libs. are only out of govt. by a small margin with the shuffling of the deck chairs by the NDP and Greens. I’m not so sure that they won’t be back in next time around unless first past the post is replaced by some form of rep. by pop. For all of the liberal negatives they still have blinkered broad support. Kelowna by election coming up.

  • 13 BMCQ // Feb 6, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Yes Harvey you are correct, Wilkinson and the B.C. Libs do have some things to overcome between now and Oct 2021.

    Can they do that? It depends on many things, most importantly in my opinion the success of the Libs depends on how the Horgan NDP and the Weaver Team perform as Government.

    People for the most part do not vote for a Gov they vote against it.

    Wilkinson will need to soften his aggressive arrogant personality or he will be wasting his time.

    It is only a guess but as a Lib Supporter IMHO I felt Lee or Watts would have been the best bets as Leader but Watts faltered and Lee was not well known enough.

    Interestingly enough if CC and de Jong would have done away with most or all of MSP and Tolls with the almost $ 3 Billion in Surplus they would have saved 4 Surrey Seats and possibly a few other Seats in the Province and the Greens may still be a Party of ONE! Although Weaver does have the Ego of many more.

    Clark deserved Full Credit for the 2013 Victory but she also deserves Full Credit for “Grasping Deafeat from the Jaws of Victory” last May.

    Apologies to my friend DBW but Horgan and his Minions are making a Fatal Mistake if they adopt Road Pricing as proposed by Mayors.

    RP is expensive, the Infrastructure requires a replacement every few years as with ?Golden Eagles Bridge at a cost of up to $8 Million, multiply that by crossings and roads like Pattullo, Port Man, Sea to Sky, Coq, ALEX, Massey, and probably 20 others, a Disaster!

    Then think about another 1000 Tree Employees all High Paid BCGEU with Salaries, Benefits, Pensions, Stress Leave, amd the rest! YIKES!

    Horgan should step in show Leadership implement a .5% or !% PST totally dedicated to nothing other than Transit and Roads for the whole Province.

    The Tax is fair, it is a consumer Tax Paid for by those that spend more money on goods and it is more manageable. The Mayors and Regional MLA’s can fight over where Funds are allocated.

    Imagine not requiring Treo and the Cumbersome People and Infrastructure Logistics!

    I have crossed Arbutus both ways twice a day for most of my adult life, what would Mayor Mumbles of Vancouver want to waste $ 1 Billion of Tax Payers Money On a Tunnel to Broadway and Arbutus when there would still be another 6 Km for 25 Thousand Commuters to navigate to still get to UBC? Crazy, why is Horgan not asking Mayor Mumbles to explain this?

    Road Priving would/will be a Disaster for the Hard Working Tax Paying Commuters of B.C. That are already paying more for Housing and Cost of Living than any others in Canada, people need to contact their MP’s, MLA’s, and Municipal Politicians to put an end to this Very Dangerous and Catastrophic Plan before they do Great Harm to our People and Our Way of Life!

    The initial .5% and HST Tax was RolledOut Poorly by the Campbell Government but it made sense.

    Time for Premier Horgan to take charge and show us what kind of a Leader he can be for ALL of the People of B.C.!

  • 14 BMCQ // Feb 6, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Sorry Treo Employees

  • 15 ellbee // Feb 6, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Thanks for mentioning all those things that need to mentioned. Over and over. The only one you forgot was Site C. Even though Horgan approved it’s completion, no matter what the usual suspects will say, it is and will always remain a BC Liberal project, cost over runs and all.

  • 16 Hugh // Feb 6, 2018 at 1:00 pm

  • 17 Cora // Feb 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    When looking at the leader selection I see a very divided party. Almost half of the party wanted Dianne Watts and change.
    Wilkinson reminded me of Gordon Campbell during the race and he did nothing to change that with his acceptance speech.
    I wonder if the party will survive, if not what will they call the new party

  • 18 Eldon // Feb 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    I’ve noticed we Canadians don’t respond well to the towering intellectual candidates that talk down to us. I don’t see A&W resonating with voters.

    BCMQ is quite on point. Good comment.

  • 19 Gene the Bean // Feb 8, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Cora#17, can you explain how Watts would have been the ‘change’ candidate?

    Just like Christy she is an egotistical sycophant who is nothing more than a talking head, controlled by the puppet masters in the shadows, incapable of holding any real job. The only job both of them are qualified for is the only job that requires no qualifications, a politician.

    Only change I see is the colour of the hair dye.

  • 20 BMCQ // Feb 8, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Cora – 17

    I agree that Watts WAS INDEED a Candidate of change. Her Politics are Conservative and Free Enterprise but she WAS NOT part of the former Liberal Leadership and therefore she was………..

    Watts represented a new fresh approach for the B.C. Libs, she would have won back the Surrey Seats and she was popular with many Communities that Vote in Block.

    Most importantly she was/is a Consensus Builder and was able to work with ALL Parties in a Bi-Partisan way we rarely see in todays Polarized Politics. How can that be bad?

    Watts would have also done much better with Women and Minorities than Christy or Wilkinson. You make very valid points.

    I do however feel that the Party will do well under Wilkinson if he can do away with his Elite Arrogant Attitude. He needs to make a great effort to connect with Hard Working Free Enterprise Voters of any Socio Economic Status and he needs to convince those same Voters he can control the size of Government and the control Government Budgets and Spending are a top priority.

    If he does that he can beat the NDP because I do not believe Horgan, his NDP and the Weaver Greens can do that.

    Eldon – 18

    I believe that Wilkinson will “Shred” Horgan in the Legislature but he needs to accomplish that without appearing Arrogant and Condescending.
    That is the key to success, show you are able to form Government and work hard to improve on what the NDP are doing.


    Watts, CC, like John Horgan, Glen Clark, Geoff Meggs, Adrian Dix, were Union Organizers, Political Appointees, worked for various NDP or other Left Wing Political Parties, and were/are even Chiefs of Staff.

    That does not really make any of them Sycophants, Talking Heads, and incapable of holding Jobs other than Politicians does it?

    They essentially were no different than Watts or Christy Clark except that CC actually worked in Radio.

    Or does that only apply to those of “Free Enterprise” Parties like Socreds, B.C. Liberals, and Conservatives?


  • 21 BMCQ // Feb 8, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    My apologies

    Did not intend to say (Watts, CC like) at beginning of my para where I pointed out the NDP types did not do anything other than Political Work of one kind or another.

  • 22 13.. // Feb 8, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Gene you opened the door re real jobs , many politicians have held real jobs.
    Presidents Trump and Reagan both had good paying jobs. But your right it seems that provincial Liberals are more likely to have worked at real jobs . Provincial NDPers are all public sector workers that have moved from one trough to a better trough with another pension plan.

  • 23 Gene the Bean // Feb 8, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    13 #22 –

    Both tRump and Reagan held jobs that required ZERO qualifications. Both were born into white privalege and milked it through PR to the mentally challenged that make up close to one third of the Murican voting public.

    To even consider that tRump or Reagan ever held a real job is laughable.

    Public sector workers are what makes this country work. Why do conservatives always have to be afraid of something? I get it that most of you are lacking morals, social skills are selfish and don’t like people with different skin tones but what is the with the constant fear? That is how they control you. What are you afraid of?
    Diane watts was a Christy clone and if you don’t see that then that really explains a lot.
    Karma is always there, you may want to get your head back where it belongs before it is too late,

  • 24 Diverdarren // Feb 8, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    I have to laugh along with BMCQ and 13 and Bean. Talking about patronage appointm.
    ents. Listening to CKNW and their interview with the Chair of ICBC… Joy Macphail. Lol, that’s a redheaded socialist blast from the past.

    Then the next day, Jim Sinclair… Chairman of the Fraser Health Authority. A big labour boss running the hospitals. Cool…

    I just hope there’s a job for Moe Sahota. Perhaps head of the Motor Carrier Commission in charge of limousine licenses.

  • 25 Temm // Feb 9, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Who is Andrew Wilkinson and where did he come from?

    The story is not that he got the top job. The story is his role in the mess we see now and that the members of the liberal party chose to go with a past they know and are more comfortable with. Tired old liberals, stuck in their ways.

    Mr. Wilkinson did not just show up when first elected in 2013; he just became visible. Prior to 2013, he was a big part of Gordon Campbell’s clique as an unelected deputy minister and he was BC Liberal Party president, way back in 1998. 20 years ago; before the liberals, as we know them, came to power.

    Although !? above, at post 8, already provided this link, it needs to be shown again:

    When done with that one, move on to this next one, put two and two together and see how history can repeat itself if we continue with the complacency.

    On second thought, I guess the real story is, why only now, are these stories making it to daylight?

  • 26 13.. // Feb 9, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Mr Wilkinson had a very important job under the now defunct Liberal government. Each and every time the commies down at CKNDP wanted a comment on any fake newsworthy Liberal success or failure they (mostly Jon McComb) always expected Ms Clark to grace them with an interview. Andrew Wilkinson was her stand in. He always did an admirable job and managed to satisfy CKNDPs weak accusations and questions.
    To this day I wonder what happened between McComb and Ms Clark that made her stay a long ways away from the NW studios. She seemed okay with just about every other media outlet in BC but no way would she go near CKNDP.
    And as always Bean I appreciate your humor as you cast aspersions upon all that dont think like a bean

    (Response: Maybe that’s because their questions were too tough … and McComb is a real journalist not afraid to ruffle feathers of those in power …esp compared to some of those Clark was happier to speak to quite often. h.o)

  • 27 BMCQ // Feb 9, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    I always wonder how people like Hillary, oops sorry, I mean Bean can immediately catagorize people as Morally Bankrupt, Greedy, have no Social Skills, dislike “Brown People”, and are Deploracles, simply because they are Conservative or say “Free Enterprise” thinkers.

    How can that be?

    I have the utmost respect for Carole James, think Horgan is Ok, had spent time with Mike Harcourt, Glen Clark, and up until recently I was a neighbor of Ujjhal Dosanjh. Hell we even bought Insurance from the Parents of Adrian Dix Co. when we first moved close to their Business in Kerrisdale.

    I Would have never voted for any of them but I certainly did not Hate them or consider them Morally Bankrupt because of who they were Politically, that kind of hate and bitterness is simply really screwed up.

    As to “White Privilege”?

    I personally have plenty of Friends, a 28 year old Son, Daughter in Law, who are People of Colour that also happen to be Conservative thinkers and some that are very Liberal Left of Centre and vote NDP, I am privileged to have them ALL in my life!

    Labels? Yikes!

    Wilkinson will need to appeal to people from all walks of life and although as a B.C. Liberal Supporter I am hoping he can soften his abbraisiveness, build a consensus, and broaden the base he will have a big opportunity to win Election in Oct. 2021.

    Weaver NO Matter what anyone thinks will not dare trigger an early direction as he is intelligent enough to know it would be Political Suicide.

    Weaver and his two “Hot Tub” mates would ALL be defeated in an early Election call. Al three of them will be kept far too busy attempting to build Provincial Legislature Pension Points rather than cause that Election.

    As to McComb.

    Sometimes all we have is our opinion and I agree with 13, McComb does have something against CC personally, he dislikes her very much and it had been very obvious for a few years.

    CKNDP (NW) has for some reason abandoned a “Fair and Balanced” philosophy taking both Left and Right Politicians to task when warranted to becoming very biased against anything Conservative. I for one believe the changes made by the current American Pro Obama Democratic Anti Conservative PD has done the Station great harm.

    I always thought McComb had the best Editorials I heard on a regular basis whether I agreed with them or not.

    Since the change in The whole Culture at NW McComb is only a shadow of his former self and I have great sympathy for him.

    He was someone I once respected very much, now I am sad for him.

    I could be mistaken Harvey but I believe McComb has abandoned his Principles for the Cheap Tawdry Politics of the PD at NW and it is a tragedy.