British Columbia

B.C. Premier Christy Clark rejects Conservative leadership bid

B.C. Premier Christy Clark has no wish to replace Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, and is amused at the idea of watching hockey with the incoming prime minister.

Clark breaks silence on Liberal landslide, jokes about watching hockey with incoming prime minister

B.C. Premier Christy Clark says she envisions a good relationship with the new Liberal leader despite her party's Conservative ties. (CBC)

B.C. Premier Christy Clark said she has no wish to replace Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, and laughed at the idea of watching hockey with the incoming prime minister.

"Yah...(laughing) I mean I am pretty sure he likes hockey," said Clark when asked about her relationship with Canada's incoming prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

The premier added that she did meet Trudeau once, for about an hour, in 2013 when she was elected to power as the leader in B.C.

As for questions about whether she would like to go to Ottawa to take over the Conservatives, Clark said no.

"B.C. needs fighters too."

The premier insisted that she will have a good relationship with the new regime, despite Conservative ties within her party.

Clark said there is rich common ground she can work on with the federal liberals — from funding infrastructure to the economy — dismissing any suggestions that her cozy hockey-watching relationship with Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, would have any effect on relations with the incoming prime minister.

Climate change

Clark said B.C.'s economic strength has no parallel in Canada right now, making the western province particularly important to Ottawa right now.

"We are a safe harbour in a very, very stormy economic front across the country," said Clark.

"We are thriving and growing where most provinces are shrinking."

Clark said Justin Trudeau would be able to represent the provinces well at the upcoming U.N. Climate Change Summit in Paris.

"I'm delighted he will be joining us."

She also underlined the need to respect what B.C. has achieved when it comes to carbon pricing and climate change policy — and overall efforts to reduce the province's carbon foot print.

"We need to make sure the provinces are coordinated ... and not start to fiddle with the real success that we've seen."

Softwood lumber

The premier said one of her top issues is the softwood lumber agreement and finding a better deal for people who rely on the resource for their livelihood.

"It's urgent for British Columbia," said Clark, promising not to give up, despite being ignored by the U.S. in any efforts to renew or renegotiate the acrimonious trade dispute left hanging since 2006.

"What do we all do when we make a phone call and you can't get through the first time. You keep calling."

Silence broken

After staying on the sidelines for almost all of the federal campaign Clark welcomed all the incoming MPs 

"There is nothing like being new and bringing fresh eyes," she said.

Clark walks a difficult line as leader of the B.C. Liberal party, which is more of a coalition of federal Conservatives and Liberals, than an arm of the federal Liberals.


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