Rich Coleman talks about his time serving with Christy Clark who announced she was resigning as Liberal Party leader Friday. Penticton MLA Dan Ashton is to his immediate left. Mark Brett/Western News

Rich Coleman named interim leader of BC Liberals

Langley East MLA says he will accept the role for now, but doesn’t plan to pursue it long-term

  • Jul. 28, 2017 1:50 p.m.

Langley East MLA Rich Coleman has been named the interim leader of B.C.’s official opposition following Friday’s announcement by Christy Clark that she will step down as leader of the BC Liberal Party.

But he said he currently has no plans to pursue the role on a more permanent basis.

“I told caucus this morning that have no intention at this time to seek the leadership, and if I ever did change I would step down — and I don’t plan to step down,” Coleman said.

Clark announced on Friday morning that she would resign as leader of the BC Liberal party, effective Aug. 4.

A visibly emotional Coleman addressed the media in Penticton, following a Liberal caucus meeting, offering praise for Clark, and saying the party is determined to renew and move forward.

“I’ve never worked with anybody with more passion and love, and strength of leadership in my entire life,” he said.

“It’s a tough day for our … BC Liberal family. We think the world of her and we were very disappointed this morning when she let us know that decision.

“I knew she was struggling with what she wanted to do,” Coleman said.

“At some point in time, you come to the conclusion it’s time for you to move on, and she has, and we will be forever grateful to Christy.

“Me, as an individual, I will value her friendship for the rest of my life.”

“Having said that, our caucus has to move forward,” Coleman continued.

“British Columbians expect us to be ready to go into a legislative session come September, so my caucus has asked me to step forward to lead the official opposition.

“We’ll be ready by fall. In the meantime, I will assume this role as the official opposition leader on a day that’s pretty tough for all of us.”

Asked why Clark would decide to step down before the NDP-Green coalition government has had chance to prove itself, Coleman replied that it is her decision and the party respects it.

He said the move will give her more time to spend with her son and her family.

Clark has been in been public life, on and off, since 1996, Coleman said, noting a premier typically works 70-80 hours per week, “all the time.”

“When she came back to run, she really saved our party, saved our organization and put us on a very good footing and I think she can walk out with head high that she accomplished more than anybody thought she could.

“It’s a tough decision to decide to run for leadership in first place … and a tough decision to decide to move on.”


Interim Liberal Party Leader Rich Coleman, surrounded by caucus members, talks to the media outside the Penticton Lakeside Resort Friday afternoon following the announcement former Premier Christy Clark was stepping down as party leader as of Aug. 4. Mark Brett/Western News

Just Posted

Giants back in Langley hoping to continue winning streak

The G-Men defeated Royals in Victoria Saturday, the second triumph of the week over the same team.

Vancouver concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

Langley’s assistant lacrosse captain tallies up five goals in Calgary loss

Stealth fell to Roughnecks, but hoping for comeback on Dec. 29 in New England.

VIDEO: balloons and games and music at Basic for Babies in Langley

Event helps Food Bank stock supplies for infants

LETTER: Not too late to protect the character of Brookswood

With election year coming, a letter writer suggests council be held accountable for re-development.

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Family Christmas fun at Aldergrove’s Loft Country farm

The Loft Country children’s horse camp in Aldergrove is celebrating Christmas in a new way this year

Most Read