Gordon Campbell resigns - photo: Todd Korol, Reuters
UPDATE: Prime Minister Harper releases statement on Campbell departure. Read below.
In a hastily assembled press announcement today at 11:30am, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell announced that he has asked his BC Liberal Party to assemble a leadership convention as early as possible.
Campbell had been receiving a torrent of criticism in the days following his televised speech where he announced a renewed commitment to children's education, and a 15% income tax cut for those earning under $72,000. A rumoured letter from 17 members of his caucus may have been a deciding factor in what appears to be growing unhappiness from within his own ranks.
The BC Liberal Convention is taking place later this month in Penticton and there were increasing concerns that the unhappiness within the party would become more public. What is sure, however, the names of prospective candidates will become much clearer at the convention.
We will continue to add more details as they arrive.
We welcome any of your ideas on who might replace the Premier, and what you think this does for the Province as we go into the September 2011 HST referendum.
UPDATE: Prime Minister Harper sends out the following glowing statement. Is Campbell about to receive a big appointment from the Feds?
STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA ON RESIGNATION OF GORDON CAMPBELL
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement:
"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to thank Premier Gordon Campbell for his devoted service to British Columbians, and indeed his service to all Canadians. 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.
"In particular, I would like to thank Premier Campbell for his steadfast support during the current global economic downturn and for his government's tremendous cooperation in implementing Canada's Economic Action Plan.
"On a more personal note, I would like to once again thank Premier Campbell for his tireless efforts in promoting British Columbia and Canada 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.
"I wish Premier Campbell every success as he leaves public life. I am sure he will continue to sing British Columbia's and Canada's praises wherever he next goes."