Supporters, including Doug Clovechok, celebrate Andrew Wilkinson’s victory on Saturday night in Vancouver.

Clovechok backed winner in BC Liberal party leadership race

MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke excited for next provincial election with Wilkinson at helm

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok is thrilled Andrew Wilkinson won the provincial Liberal leadership race.

Mr. Clovechok put his support behind Mr. Wilkinson, Vancouver-Quilchena MLA, during the candidacy race.

“I did my research first, and spent a bunch of time with all the candidates. In the end it was Andrew I thought he best represented the values of the BC liberal party,” Mr. Clovechok said Monday morning.

He describes Mr. Wilkinson as perhaps the smartest man he has ever met, with new ideas and a strong platform.

“I’m a fiscal conservative, as he is. I strongly believe we can’t spend our kids into debt in the future,” said Mr. Clovechok. “Also, Andrew has a lot of great ideas around social responsibility … We need good jobs, we need a strong economy, and those are part of being the fiscal responsible people we are. But there’s also a social aspect and Andrew really has that.”

Mr. Wilkinson was through the riding several times during the candidacy period to meet with Liberal party members. Mr. Clovechok asked him directly why he wanted to be the leader of the BC Liberal party.

“He paused, I would say for three or four minutes, which impressed me because he didn’t have a canned answer,” Mr. Clovechok described “He said ‘British Columbia has been so good to my family and so good to me. I’ve had success because British Columbia has been like that. As the leader I want to make sure I can do everything possible so all British Columbians can have the success I have’.”

While he had studied the platforms of all the leadership candidates, that is when Mr. Clovechok knew he wanted Mr. Wilkinson as the new Liberal party leader.

Mr. Clovechok was there Saturday night in Vancouver when, after the fifth ballot, Mr. Wilkinson finally came out on top and the room erupted in cheers.

“I’ve got to congratulate all the candidates. We had six incredibly talented candidates, so that’s a nice problem to have; I think it speaks to the party,” Mr. Clovechok remarked, adding the momentum shift on Saturday night was evident. “My prediction is that whenever that next provincial election comes, you’ll be seeing Andrew Wilkinson as the next premier of the province of British Columbia.”

Mr. Wilkinson grew up in Kamloops, and graduated from both medical and law school. He became a physician and a lawyer. In 2013, he was elected as MLA and served in several cabinet positions, including Advanced Education and Attorney General & Minister of Justice. He holds degrees from the University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, and Oxford University, where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

He has also served as president of the BC Civil Liberties Association, president of the BC Mountaineering Club, and president of the BC Liberal Party.

The B.C. Liberal party was left without a leader when former premier Christy Clark resigned in August, 2017, 10 days after B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan was sworn in as B.C.’s premier.

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