The list of Liberal MLAs leaving the party ahead of the next provincial election is getting so big, it could be its own club.
After Wednesday, Kevin Falcon could be its president.
Falcon, the highest-profile Liberal to quit politics, announced he was resigning as Finance Minister immediately and will not be seeking re-election in 2013.
The one-time leadership hopeful and long-time Liberal cabinet minister cited family reasons (he’s expecting a second child in February) and a desire to carve out a career in the private sector for his decision.
He denied his decision was based on public opinion polls and the Liberals’ precarious position heading into the election.
“When people have been in public life 10, 12, 15, 16 years, you can’t say that just because they’re leaving they’re jumping ship,” Falcon said. “These things happen and it doesn’t mean they’re abandoning ship or whatever, it means they’re making decisions for their futures. I remain very loyal to the former premier [Gordon Campbell] and I remain loyal to the current premier [Christy Clark].”
Clark, his former rival for Liberal leadership, thanked Falcon for his contribution and applauded him for putting his family first.
“Kevin has made a decision that is right for his family,” the premier said.
Clark’s reaction to the news also shed light on the Liberal’s potential strategy heading into the 2013 election: Renewal.
Clark used the new buzzword repeatedly while previewing an imminent cabinet shuffle and outlining her plans going forward.
She said the Liberals would announce a slate of “exciting new candidates” with a fresh eyes in the near future.
Before then, another failed challenger to the Liberal throne could also be on his way out.
Education Minister George Abbott said Tuesday he is considering his future.
“George has speculated about whether or not he will run again,” admitted Clark. “So stay tuned.”
Liberal MLAs not seeking re-election:
Already left politics: