B.C. premier says he won't quit

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell says he has no intention of resigning over the HST.

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell says he has no intention of resigning.

The premier responded Wednesday afternoon to calls from some senior Liberals for him to step down over his government's handling of the HST.

Speaking at his office in Vancouver, Campbell rejected suggestions that he had left B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen to deal with fallout from the unpopular harmonized sales tax.  

"I have in no way tried to shy away from my responsibilities as leader of the government, and as premier, for the introduction of the HST," said Campbell. "The HST is something that will strengthen our economy, that is good for the future.

"It may not be popular, but sometimes when you're premier it's important to do what's right as opposed to what's popular."

On Tuesday, former B.C. energy minister Blair Lekstrom and former Liberal MLA Sheila Orr said Campbell should announce his retirement.

Lekstrom said he supports the HST but quit the party earlier this year over the way the tax was introduced.

On the weekend, the former mayor of Williams Lake, Liberal supporter Scott Nelson, said the Liberals would lose if Campbell tried to lead the party into the 2013 election.

Campbell declined to say whether he thought the committee handling the HST petition should turn it over to the legislature or call for a referendum.