After Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson announced he will be stepping down, local Liberals reflect on what he has done with his time in the position.

Kootenay East MLA elect Tom Shypitka feels Wilkinson has been a great benefit to the Liberals, but had some shortcomings when it came to the election.

“He’s assembled a great team, he’s gotten all the MLAs in our coccus together on a centrally focused agenda,” said Shypitka. “At the end of the day, he just didn’t resonate well with the people of British Columbia.”

However, Shypitka said the defeat in the election gives the Liberals an opportunity to reinvent themselves and take the party in a new direction.

“We didn’t pull through, we didn’t get the outcome we thought we should have had. With that comes time to grow and refresh and rebrand and take another look at where we’re going as a party, and with that, comes a new leader,” explained Shypitka.

MLA elect for Columbia River-Revelstoke Doug Clovechok echoed a similar statement.

“The reality of it is that it didn’t go the way we had hoped and now it’s time for some renewal. He’s a man of integrity and honesty and he knows that he needed to step down to get things moving in a direction that going t obe new for us,” said Clovechok. “This is a time of exciting renewal and I’m really stoked and appreciative of the work that Andrew did.”

According to Shypitka, the Liberals will wait until the finalized election results are in, then form a coccus before choosing a new leader.

“I think a leadership race isn’t due until a little bit down the road, but we’ll have Andrew sit in as the temporary leader until we find a new one and we’ll take it from there. I think it’s a time to reflect right now,” said Shypitka.

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