Kudos, criticisms for departing B.C. premier

Reaction to B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell's surprise announcement of his intention to resign caught just about everyone by surprise, including politicians in his own party.

Reaction to B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell's surprise announcement of his intention to resign caught just about everyone by surprise, including politicians in his own party.

The reaction range from laudatory to merely polite to blatantly critical.

Here's a sampling:

  • Bill Bennett, B.C. Minister of Energy: "He obviously wasn't doing so well in the polls so he concluded the best thing he could do for the province and party was step aside and it's an honourable act."
  • Ida Chong, B.C. Minister of Science and Universities: "I was saddened to hear him make the announcement today. He's been an absolutely incredible leader for the last decade and has really moved the province from a have-not status to a have status."
  • Stephen Harper, prime minister: "Through his considerable efforts, Premier Campbell has returned British Columbia to prosperity and has re-affirmed his province's rightful place in the heart of our Canadian Confederation … During the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Canada and her athletes had no better champion or more ardent supporter than Gordon Campbell. My enduring memory of Gordon will be with his arms raised cheering our athletes, his hands covered with those famous Canada mittens while passionately waving the Canadian flag."
  • Carole James, B.C. NDP leader: "Premier Campbell made the right decision today. It’s become increasingly clear the B.C. Liberals have broken trust with the people they were elected to serve. No issue shows that more clearly than the HST."
  • Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun political columnist: "I think there's a bunch of stuff he did on developing the province, on infrastructure. I think he made some progress in developing the relationship with First Nations. It's not been easy to make progress on that file in our history … I don't think it's going to be difficult coming up with a list of things that happened when Gordon Campbell was premier that he can count as a legacy. His immediate problem is that he is going to be remembered for a guy who was driven out of office prematurely because of a very badly conceived tax, the HST."
  • Jimmy Pattison, B.C. businessman: "Basically, I think Gordon Campbell has done a good job for British Columbia and obviously, to him, it's very disappointing when you get the level of support that it appears the polls give him right now. But I think he probably has done the right thing."
  • Gregor Robertson, mayor of Vancouver: "I’d like to thank Premier Campbell for his many years of public service to both the people of Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia. 26 years in public office, as city councillor, mayor, opposition leader and premier, is a substantial commitment. I wish him and his family the best in their future endeavours."
  • Gordon Wilson, former B.C. Liberal Party leader: "Where he went seriously wrong, I think, was when he started to dispose of public assets. And I think that's when people initially started to get concerned about the sale of BC Rail, dismantling of Hydro and those sorts of things."