B.C. Premier Christy Clark thanked her newly elected and re-elected MLAs in Vancouver on Thursday, who gathered for the first time following the Liberals' surprise victory in last week's provincial election.
"From the bottom of my heart, I want to say to all of you ... thank you," Clark said.
"All of us in this room made a tremendous sacrifice in putting their lives on the side, putting your name on the line, putting your reputation up for scrutiny, and all of you earned every single vote you got and you deserved it."
Clark went on to talk about job creation, growing the economy, controlling government spending, paying down the deficit and "living within our means" — all very familiar refrains from the election campaign.
Clark will head a majority B.C. Liberal government after leading her party to a stunning come-from-behind victory, taking 50 of the province's 85 ridings.
The premier made a point of thanking the Liberal candidates who did not get elected in their ridings, acknowledging she herself "knew a little about that."
"I want to pay a tribute to those of you who were not elected," she said. "I want you to all stand up, so we can acknowledge your work."
Clark has yet to say which MLA will step aside so she can run in a byelection and secure a seat in the legislature after losing her seat in Vancouver–Point Grey to high-profile NDP candidate David Eby by 785 votes.
Clark said B.C. voters elected the Liberal party because they "cared about the economy first."
"They were the ones that set us on the journey. They were the ones who wrote this comeback story for our party and for our government," she said.
"The people of British Columbia have said they are trusting us with their future, to make sure we achieve the goals we set out and that we promised we will deliver in the next four years. They have given us their trust and there is nothing more valuable than that."
Clark promised a summer sitting of the legislature and "labour peace" in B.C. classrooms. She also said she will push for the export of liquified natural gas and the construction of BC Hydro's proposed Site C hydroelectric dam in northeastern British Columbia.
The premier isn't expected to name her cabinet until the election results are final. The final count begins May 27 and the writ won't be returned to the legislature to make the results official until June 5.
On Wednesday, embattled B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix said he will stay on as head of the party despite a disappointing election defeat.