British Columbia

B.C. Liberal campaign manager Laura Miller leaves following election disappointment

Big changes are happening at the B.C. Liberal Party following the May 9 provincial election that saw Premier Christy Clark lose her majority. Laura Miller, the party's executive director and campaign manager, is leaving her job at the end of the month.

Miller's trial on a criminal charge of breach of trust and mischief set to start in Ontario in September

B.C. Liberal Party executive director Laura Miller was the party's campaign director for the 2017 provincial election. (Queen's Park)

Big changes are happening at the B.C. Liberal Party following the May 9 provincial election that saw Premier Christy Clark lose her majority in the legislature.

Laura Miller, the B.C. Liberal Party's executive director and campaign manager, is leaving her job at the end of June.

"Laura signed on to see the party through the 2017 campaign and now is transitioning out of her role as planned," said campaign spokesperson Emile Scheffel. "The provincial executive board is in the process of identifying a new executive director."

The B.C. Liberals were expected to win a fifth consecutive majority government but were only able to win 43 seats, leaving Clark in charge of a minority parliament.

The B.C. NDP and the B.C. Greens have signed a four-year accord that will likely mean the Clark government loses the confidence of the house at the end of June and knocks Clark out of her job.

Miller attracted controversy during the recent election campaign.

Following an interaction between Clark and Linda Higgins on the campaign trail, Miller accused the NDP of sending Higgins to confront the premier.

It wasn't true and the Liberals were widely criticized for accusing Higgins of being a plant. 

Senior Liberal cabinet minister Andrew Wilkinson says Miller is not solely to blame for the election disappointment and was part of a much bigger picture. 

"There are many different ingredients that go into a successful election campaign. Data management is a big one these days, the public profile and the leader herself," said Wilkinson. "There are many things that account for a successful campaign. Only one of them is the campaign manager."

Wilkinson says campaign managers like Miller often move from province to province to work on different campaigns. But with the stability of the B.C. Legislature resting on a single vote, there is the likelihood the next provincial election will happen before the set election date of 2021. 

Miller carried political baggage with her when she moved from Ontario to British Columbia before the 2013 provincial election.

As a former senior staff member for former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Miller was accused of deleting emails concerning the Ontario Liberals' decision to cancel two gas plants at a cost of more than $1 billion.

Miller is set to go to trial in September in Ontario on a criminal charge of breach of trust. She stepped aside from her B.C. Liberal job in December, 2015 after the criminal charges were laid.

After news of Miller's departure became public, she tweeted she was "deeply grateful" to B.C. Liberal president Sharon White and Clark for "the incredible opportunity and experience." 

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