Christy Clark is done – with public life, with politics and with cameras.
The outgoing premier spoke publicly for the first time on Monday since she announced Friday her resignation from the BC Liberal party leadership, effective Aug. 4, and as an MLA.
Clark, whose party won the election in May, lost a confidence vote in June to an NDP-Green partnership.
“Looking back, I knew in my heart from election night that it was time for me to leave,” she told reporters in Vancouver. “There is nothing worse than seeing politicians hanging on because they feel like they’re irreplaceable. Nobody is irreplaceable – I’m not.”
WATCH: Christy Clark speaks about leaving politics
LIVE: Outgoing BC Liberal Party leader and former premier Christy Clark speaks for the first time since she announced her resignation:Posted by BCLocalNews.com on Monday, July 31, 2017
Clark said she planned on resigning as party leader the night that the lieutenant-governor chose John Horgan to be premier.
“But… I didn’t want to leave in the midst of chaos,” she said.
Her departure from her Kelowna West seat leaves the NDP and Green Party with the possibility to strengthen a tenuous lead in the legislature.
“I don’t think there’s going to be an election in the fall, so why not get it out of the way?” she said. “I really felt like it was time for the province to get it out of the way.”
No one has immediately declared their interest in running as Clark’s replacement as party leader.
She recounted what she saw as the Liberals’ accomplishments over the past six and a half years.
“We have the fastest growing economy in the country – 200,000 jobs putting people to work and five consecutive balanced budgets,” she said. She also cited the controversial Site C dam, reaching a settlement with B.C. teachers, and reducing the number of children in government care.
Clark also addressed what some critics have seen as her party’s failure in Metro Vancouver. The Liberals lost seats throughout Surrey in May, as the NDP campaigned hard on rental affordability, nixing bridge tolls and reconsidering the Massey Bridge.
“There are only two things that the government can do to affect housing affordability in the Lower Mainland,” Clark said. “One is to get the mayors to build more houses. The second is to slow the economy down so that people stop coming to the Lower Mainland and buying houses.”
She will leave some business unfinished. Clark said she’s tried to reach out to Linda Kayfish, the sister of deceased healthcare worker Roderick MacIsaac, who who along with several other healthcare workers, was fired by the province in 2012. He later took his own life.
“I have asked her for meetings several times but she hasn’t accepted,” said Clark. Asked if she would reach out again, Clark simply said: “I am done with public life.”
Clark didn’t give any details on what she might do next, only saying she wants to focus on her son, Hamish.
Hamish said he felt “a little relieved” that his mother was done.
“She’s been premier for most of my life that I can remember,” he said. “It’s going to be really nice.”